Rubber Roller Use In The Past
From the time of the Ancient Egyptians that used carved or ax honed logs to move heavy objects like the stones for the pyramids the industrial wheel was born. In American history we can see the pictures in our minds of history classes gone by of oxen and men moving large objects on long poles made from trees. In the beginning wheels were put together and fastened to work as one shaft surface. Then shafts were added to the ends and these first rollers were placed in yokes and eventually the roller was made to stand in place with the addition of journals and substrates were made to pass over them, like the Printing Press.
Prior to the 1850’s Rubber was just a sticky substance that could not be cured into what we know today as the solid state of rubber. The process was vulcanization with sulfur added which enabled rubber to be cured. This was invented in Great Britain by Charles Handcock and in the US by Charles Good Year.
During the Industrial Age Rubber was added to steel shafts where a nip was needed to perform a function that a hard steel surface could not, prior to this ropes or skins were wrapped around the surface to give a nipping function to the roll. By adding rubber the shaft became what’s known today as the rubber roller. The advent of printing from the 20, 30’s and 40’s into the 50’s 60’s and on into today the rubber roller was recognized as a required and most efficient method of applying inks to printing plates spreading glue for glue applications, applying thin coatings the rubber roller could do it all.
The Rubber Roller Today
Most of the rubber compounds and many of those still used today were invented by the DuPont’s, Goodrich’s, Firestone’s and Good Year, during a time of necessity during the industrial age and for national defense for the huge amount of rubber required during World War II. Demand grew for rubber in extruded and blow molding as well as rubber rollers to exceed its physical properties of strength, durability, tensile and life expectancy.
Rubber rollers come in many types of Elastomers known for many different types of applications. Menges Roller provides the following types of rubber rollers and this handy chart shows which applications are best for which type of Rubber.
Rubber Roller Elastomers
Common Types of Rubber used Today for a Rubber Roller
- EPDM- Used for Chemical and Ozone resistance, offers temperature resistance, dent and limited abrasion resistance.
- Nitrile- Designed originally for industrial applications then used largely in printing as it resists grease and oil. Original printing inks were oil based.
- Nitrile PVC – This blend adds ozone resistance to base nitrile formulations, improves abrasion resistance, used in many printing applications.
- Carboxylated Nitrile – From the nitrile compound where Carboxylic acid is added the result give outstanding abrasion resistance and chemical resistance.
- Hydrogenated Nitrile- Developed to compete head to head with polyurethane. Great mechanical properties, dynamic properties, oil and fuel resistance, heat resistance, physical properties maintained over the range of temperatures, as opposed to urethanes which degrades over a temperature range, improved abrasion resistance, improved tear and chunk out resistance. Retention to roll geometry. Rubber has a high initial cost which is repaid over longer service life proven to last 3-5 Times longer than traditional coverings.
- Neoprene- Once the work horse of the Industry isn’t called upon as much. The evolution of some compounds shown here has led to the decline in the use of Neoprene. Neoprene offers resistance to Compression set, along with good tensile strength and cut resistance.
- Viton- (Flour elastomer) in the correct use this compound is awesome. Uses are quite often where nothing else will work. The place for this Compound is extreme Chemistry and Temperature in these places the cost of the compound will be more than justified.
- Millable Urethanes- Urethanes offer extremely good wear resistance. Millable offers a very good dry traction and a very poor wet traction in applications. Also excellent solvent resistance.
- Corona Treater- Outstanding dielectric Strength which insulates against the high voltage at the treater station.
- Silicone - The important Characteristics are heat resistance and Release which is the inability for things to stick to it. We have specialized in silicone since the beginning. Although our Industrial Grades are great producers we cover many Rubber Rollers with high release compounds, conductive compounds and high strength compounds.
- EPDM Silicone- A unique blend of EPDM and Silicone that combines the best properties of both compounds. EPDM- Silicone is best suited in those rubber roller applications where a balance of heat, release, strength, and chemical resistance is required. In some applications the base polymer of EPDM or Silicone alone does not measure up to the environmental needs. When blended often the two combined will perform in a Rubber Roller application better than one alone.
- Anti-Static Rubber Roller Coverings- We offer anti-static covering in most of our coverings above. Because of static charge anti-static covering are used to dissipate static for processing concerns as well as potential for fire or explosion.