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What Are the Different Types of Urethane Rollers?

By Jean Marie Asta
Updated May 17, 2024
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Urethane rollers are a part of a machine used to send materials and parts down a track so they may reach their intended destination. They are made from a durable and flexible material called urethane. The use of the urethane surface on these rollers allows for material to be moved while minimizing potential damage that could occur to the material or to the moving system itself. This material's benefits make urethane rolling systems popular, and there are many different kinds in use.

The simplest form of urethane rollers are the idler rollers. These rollers are set into a roller system and allow an object to slow down as it continues to move across them. They are not powered in any way and any object that moves across them must do so using energy gathered from somewhere else on its path through a workstation.

For gaining energy, drive rollers are commonly used. These rollers allow an object to move down a line and even go uphill, provided the hill isn’t too steep. Drive rollers are typically powered by a belt that spins the rollers or they may have independently powered axles.

While both the idler and drive rollers can also be made out of many other materials, there is a kind of roller that is similar to them but is only made out of urethane. Compliant rollers are urethane rollers that are custom designed to be flexible. Objects that move across them may be of uneven weight but the flexible urethane that makes up these rollers allows the objects to move across the roller system evenly. The bodies of these rollers are not solid like other rollers, but have hollow grooves cut in them for maximum flexibility.

Segmented rollers are a variety of urethane rollers that are not perfectly round on the exterior side. These are used to transport a material in a specific amount. This type of roller system may also have very small segments that are meant to give the work piece additional traction as it moves along.

Many print makers and mechanical copiers make use of transfer rollers in order to copy an image onto a piece of paper or other physical medium. These urethane rollers can be operated mechanically or by hand. The transfer rollers allow for many images to be made from a single master copy. Since the coating is exceptionally smooth, using urethane rollers for this purpose allows for an image to be reproduced with minimal errors or distortion to the picture.

There are many other specialized urethane rollers available for specific uses. Many factories specialize in customizable urethane rollers that can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These rollers can be ordered online singly or in bulk for those wishing to set up their own urethane roller system.

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