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The Evolution of Rubber Roller Coatings: From Natural Rubber to Synthetic Polymers

Author Archives: Ryan Smith

  1. The Evolution of Rubber Roller Coatings: From Natural Rubber to Synthetic Polymers

    Rubber rollers are popular in various industries, serving critical functions in manufacturing, printing, packaging, and more. Over time, the materials used for coating these rollers have evolved significantly, driven by technological advancements and the need for improved performance. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating journey of rubber roller coatings, tracing their evolution from natural rubber to the wide array of synthetic polymers available today. 

    1. Natural Rubber: The Early Days Natural rubber, derived from the latex sap of rubber trees, was the primary material used for coating industrial rollers in the early days of manufacturing. While natural rubber exhibited decent resilience and elasticity, it had limitations such as susceptibility to abrasion, chemical degradation, and temperature extremes. Despite these drawbacks, natural rubber rollers were widely used due to the limited availability of alternative materials. 
    2. The Advent of Synthetic Polymers The mid-20th century marked a significant turning point with the introduction of synthetic polymers. These man-made materials offered superior properties compared to natural rubber, paving the way for a revolution in rubber roller coatings. One of the earliest synthetic polymers used for roller coatings was neoprene, renowned for its excellent resistance to abrasion, oils, and chemicals. Neoprene-coated rollers quickly gained popularity in various industrial applications, offering enhanced durability and longevity. 
    3. Silicones: Precision and Performance Silicones emerged as another game-changer in the realm of rubber roller coatings. These synthetic polymers exhibit remarkable heat resistance, low friction, and non-stick properties, making them ideal for specialized applications such as high-temperature printing and food processing. Silicones also boast exceptional release characteristics, preventing adhesion of sticky substances to the roller surface and ensuring smooth operation across diverse manufacturing processes. 
    4. Polyurethanes: Versatility Redefined Polyurethane coatings have become synonymous with versatility and performance in the realm of industrial rubber rollers. With their exceptional wear resistance, tear strength, and resilience, polyurethane-coated rollers excel in demanding environments where abrasion and impact are prevalent. Moreover, polyurethanes offer customization options in terms of hardness, durometer, and surface finish, allowing manufacturers to tailor roller coatings according to specific application requirements. 

     The evolution of rubber roller coatings from natural rubber to synthetic polymers represents a journey of innovation and advancement. Each milestone in material development has brought forth coatings with superior properties, enabling manufacturers to achieve higher efficiency, precision, and reliability in their operations. As industries continue to evolve, so too will the materials used for rubber roller coatings, driving further enhancements in performance, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. 

    Harwood Rubber Products is proud to stay in the forefront of rubber roller material performance; doing so has been a part of our DNA for 60 years. Our expert staff has developed countless custom compounds to match our customers’ unique applications. The below material chart gives a general overview of the types of materials we’ve used in the past but is not an exhaustive list. It is always worth a discussion with one of our team members to learn more about your unique application and how we can meet your needs with our offerings.

    Contact us today to see how Harwood Rubber Products can help!  

  2. How Proper Rubber Roller Repair Reduces Equipment Downtime

    There’s no shortage of ways to describe the treatment of rubber rollers to help ensure optimal performance. Whether you think in terms of reconditioning, regrinding, recovering, recoating, or repairing, the key takeaway is you rely on the rollers in your equipment running smoothly to keep your business moving, and sometimes they need a little attention. To keep your rollers in good shape, you need high quality rollers to begin with and reliable routine maintenance.  

    It goes without saying why you’d want to invest in high quality rollers for your equipment. But perhaps less obvious, or easier to forget, is the routine maintenance. The last thing you want to do is let maintenance slip and find yourself in a situation with unforeseen, frustrating delays or costly downtime because a worn or broken roller is stopping your production line.  

    Worn or Broken Rollers Are Costly 

    We’re not just talking about the cost to repair or replace worn or broken rollers either, though that in and of itself can be quite the expense. Often, the bigger cost comes with the unexpected downtime resulting from a worn or broken rubber roller. To put it simply, without proper functioning rubber rollers, your equipment can’t run. And when your equipment can’t run, neither can your production line. All it takes is one failing roller to bring operations to a halt. The ripple effects can be catastrophic if you aren’t able to address the situation swiftly.  

    It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The good news is, there are reputable companies, like Harwood Rubber Products, that can help you avoid these disastrous outcomes.  

    Extend the Life of Your Rubber Rollers with Harwood Rubber Products 

    No matter what you call it – roller reconditioning, regrinding, recovering, recoating, or repairing – Harwood Rubber Products can help. These treatments help refurbish rollers to like-new condition, and where repairs aren’t possible, our team can replace your rollers to restore your operations, minimizing those annoying and costly delays.  

    The primary benefits of working with Harwood Rubber Products for your roller servicing needs are: 

    • Same-day regrinding service: This offering minimizes downtime to get you back up and running as quickly as we can. 
    • Custom rubber formulations and roller designs: No matter what your unique application is, our team of experts can produce exactly what you need. 
    • Unrivaled customer service: Our team responds quickly and gets the job done right the first time. 
    • Pickup and delivery services: We offer both because we know everyone’s needs will look a little different. We’re equipped to get your rollers to you in the most efficient way possible because we’re just as invested in minimizing your business’s downtime as you are.  

    These are the benefits that keep our customers coming back to us time and time again. For 60 years, we’ve been proud to partner with customers across more than 20 different industries servicing all their rubber roller needs. When you choose Harwood, you choose a long-term partner who cares just as much about the success of your business as you do. Let us show you the difference – contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

  3. Quality Matters – An Overview of Industrial Rollers and Why Precision and Durability Are Important

    Industrial rollers are like the unsung hero of machinery. Their primary function involves facilitating the movement of various materials through intricate processing machinery. Additionally, they offer crucial support by ensuring materials stay properly positioned and free from displacement or jams during machine operation. Even the slightest deviations in performance can result in wasted resources and time spent rectifying issues, meaning precision and longevity matters when it comes to these rollers. 

    There are multiple distinct types of rollers that can support various processes. 

    Drive rollers 

    Drive rollers are used to provide power and motion transmission. 

    Guide rollers 

    Guide rollers steer objects in specific directions. 

    Conveyor rollers 

    Conveyor rollers facilitate the smooth transport of products or loose bulk materials over extended distances and are essential for efficient transportation. They are the most common type of industrial rollers.  

    These rollers can support an increasingly vast array of manufacturing processes and applications. Most are coated with varied materials, such as polyurethane, EPDM, Nitrile, and neoprene. Regardless of coatings and applications, it’s vital to invest in high quality rollers. 

    Why does the quality of industrial rollers matter? 

    It’s important that the rollers being used are high quality to avoid costly production line breakdowns and delays. Cheap rollers use substandard materials and don’t provide the durability and reliability you need for your operations. You’ll run into issues like: 

    • Premature wear and tear  
    • Damage to expensive equipment 
    • Defective products and outputs 

    All of which can lead to unplanned downtime and unexpected costs to your business.  

    To avoid these negative outcomes, it’s best to find a supplier and servicer you can trust to deliver superior products to keep your operations running smoothly.  

    How can Harwood Rubber Products help? 

    If your operations involve industrial rubber rollers, we are the partner you want in your corner to provide the highest quality products and customer service. 

    Since 1965, we have manufactured top quality industrial rubber rollers and a variety of custom rubber coated products. We also offer rubber roller recovering and regrinding of your used rollers along with repair of worn bearing surfaces and replacement rollers. We are experts in creating custom compounds to match your unique application.  

    With nearly 60 years of experience in the industry, we can assure you of reliable performance in every rubber roller application. Our 30,000 square-foot location guarantees your orders receive prompt attention, eliminating annoying and costly delays. Both pickup and delivery services are available to minimize your downtime. 

    We are heavily focused on quality and consistency. When there’s an issue, we fix it right the first time. With a broad array of products and services offered, we can deliver exceptional results in a short amount of time to keep your business moving seamlessly.  While others settle for less, we will never stop striving to continue earning your trust – our customer relationships are the driving force of our business. 

    Get in touch with our team to learn more about how our offerings can support your operations.  

  4. About Harwood Rubber Products

    Big enough to deliver, small enough to care.

    If you’re looking for top quality industrial rubber rollers, custom rubber roller coated products, or rubber roller recovering and regrinding for your used rollers along with repair and replacements, look no further than Harwood Rubber Products. We have nearly 60 years of experience serving multiple industries and unique customer applications. Learn more about us and reach out – we’re happy to be of service!

    HRP Company Overview