Conveyor rollers or idler rollers, form a key element for any conveyor. They are positioned beneath the belt for the support of weight and impact as well as other purposes. Two of the most common materials in used are plastic and steel However, which is best for your needs?
In many industries that utilize conveyor systems rolling wheels made of steel (including the stainless and mild steel) are the most appropriate option. However, in certain situations plastic could be an suitable solution.
There are numerous factors to think about when selecting plastic or steel rolls for your conveyor. They include the materials going through, the conditions that your conveyor system is used, the magnitude of your business, cost and many more.
The material that your conveyor system moves is an important role in deciding if you should choose to use the steel type or, in some cases, plastic. If the material is bulky and/or large steel rollers can are more effective of enduring their weight and force of impact. Plastic rollers are better suitable for lighter mass materials because they’re not as strong as steel.
However, corrosion-prone materials can make mild steel rollers to wear out and break into pieces. Steel made of stainless steel or aluminum rollers offer a different solution to mild steel since they resist corrosion. Plastic rollers are also a non-corrosive alternative.
environments that have high temperatures can be harmful on plastic rollers. Steel rollers are able to withstand extreme heat, both with regards to the operating environment and also the temperature of materials that are transported.
In comparison to steel, plastic is more capable in thermal expansion when subjected to extreme temperatures. When using plastic rollers operating temperatures must be assessed, as otherwise you be at risk of a roller breaking because of warping.
Size of Operations
Plastic conveyor rollers due to their fragility and weakening they are more suitable for smaller conveyors such as those in manufacturing industries for food. However the majority of food production industries are now choosing stainless steel rollers because they are food-grade and also due to the fact that they are non-corrosive and easy to clean.
The larger operations, like those mining, will be more efficient using steel rollers because of their larger dimensions, larger capacity and lasting strength.
Steel rollers are, in nearly all instances, less expensive than plastic rollers to make. Steel rollers were used in mining as the norm for years and are produced with economies of scale. Production processes for steel rollers have been continually upgraded and modernized throughout the years, and is today a work of art.
Plastic rollers are relatively new item and still have a lot still to go before they can be truly innovative.
As a material base it isn’t the same strength or durability as steel, so plastic rollers are generally less durable that steel ones. However plastic rollers possess advantages of not causing harm to the belt due to “pizza wheeling”.
Pizza wheeling happens the process where steel rollers are used to the end of their operational life, and the shell of the roller gets broken, exposing the sides plates. When the side plates become exposed, the edge that is upright functions as the pizza cutting wheel, damaging and cutting through the conveyor belt when it is in motion.
Plastic is typically a more soft material than conveyor belts made of rubber. When the shell wears over plastic rollers it is possible that the effect of pizza wheels happens, however, the plastic is not strong enough to cause damage to the belt.
Simple design changes for both plastic and steel rollers is to stop pizza wheeling. If you raise the size of side walls of the rollers, pizza wheeling is not a problem because the sides are now thicker and there is not a thin, sharp edge. This design change can add cost because of the more substance used to strengthen those side wall surfaces. https://wainwright.com.au/