Category Archive: Materials

Understanding the Benefits of Ethylene Propylene in Industrial Rubber Rollers

Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR), or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), can be a great choice for industrial rubber rollers, offering many benefits that make it an ideal material for various applications. It was developed in the early 1960s and when given proper care and maintenance can last for decades. 

Superior Resistance to Weather and Ozone 

Ethylene propylene rubber maintains exceptional resistance to weathering, water, and ozone. Unlike many other rubber materials that degrade when exposed to UV rays, ozone, and other weather conditions, EPDM remains robust. This resistance ensures that rubber rollers made from ethylene propylene keep their integrity and performance – even in outdoor or harsh environments – leading to longer service life and reduced maintenance costs. 

Excellent Heat and Chemical Resistance 

Industries that involve high-temperature processes or exposure to chemicals benefit greatly from ethylene propylene rubber. EPDM can withstand temperatures ranging from -60°F to 350°F, making it suitable for applications that involve extreme heat. Additionally, its chemical resistance makes it an excellent choice for environments where rollers may come into contact with oils (except for mineral oils or petroleum oils), acids, or other corrosive substances. This resilience minimizes the risk of degradation and prolongs the rollers’ operational lifespan. 

Versatility in Applications 

The versatility of ethylene propylene rubber makes it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. EPDM rubber rollers are used in various industries, including automotive, printing, textiles, and packaging. Their ability to maintain performance across different applications is due to their flexibility and compatibility with various substrates and processes. Whether it’s used in conveyor systems, printing presses, or textile machinery, EPDM rubber rollers deliver reliable performance. 


While the initial cost of ethylene propylene rubber may be higher than some other materials, its long-term cost-effectiveness is undeniable. The longevity, reduced maintenance, and fewer replacements required for EPDM rubber rollers result in significant cost savings over time. Additionally, the material’s resistance to harsh conditions reduces the frequency of downtime for repairs, further enhancing productivity and reducing operational expenses. 

Environmental Benefits 

Ethylene propylene rubber is a more environmentally friendly option compared to some synthetic rubbers. EPDM can be recycled, reducing its environmental footprint. Its long lifespan also means fewer replacements and less waste, contributing to more sustainable industrial practices. 


Ethylene propylene rubber has proven to be a great material for industrial rubber rollers, offering a combination of weather and chemical resistance, durability, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits. As industries continue to seek materials that enhance performance while minimizing costs and environmental impact, EPDM stands out as a reliable and efficient choice.  

Our team at Harwood Rubber Products can help service all your rubber roller needs and can recommend EPDM for your unique application if it’s the best fit. Reach out to our team today to learn more about whether EPDM makes sense for your needs and how Harwood Rubber Products can help! 

Key Benefits of Silicone as a Material for Industrial Rubber Rollers

Choosing the right material for your equipment can significantly impact efficiency, durability, and overall performance. Among the various materials available, silicone has emerged as a popular choice for industrial rubber rollers. Known for its unique properties, silicone offers a number of advantages that make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications.  

Exceptional Temperature Resistance 

One of the standout features of silicone is its exceptional temperature resistance. Silicone rubber rollers can withstand extreme temperatures, ranging from -150°F to 480°F. This makes them suitable for applications in environments where temperature fluctuations are common, whether in high-heat settings like printing and laminating or cold conditions like food processing and refrigeration.  

High Durability and Longevity 

Durability is a key consideration in industrial applications where equipment is subjected to continuous use and wear. Silicone rubber rollers are highly durable, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing your downtime.  

Non-Stick Properties 

Silicone’s inherent non-stick properties are another significant advantage. These properties prevent materials from adhering to the roller surface, reducing the risk of product contamination and ensuring smooth, uninterrupted operation. In industries such as packaging and printing, where clean and precise material handling is essential, silicone rollers help maintain the quality and consistency of the finished products. 

Flexibility and Versatility 

Silicone is a versatile material that can be easily molded and customized to meet specific requirements. This flexibility allows manufacturers to produce silicone rollers in various shapes, sizes, and hardness levels, catering to a wide range of industrial applications. Whether for lightweight or heavy-duty tasks, silicone rollers can be tailored to deliver optimal performance, enhancing the overall efficiency of the production process. 

Hygienic and Safe for Sensitive Applications 

In industries where hygiene and safety are paramount, such as food processing and the medical field, silicone rubber rollers offer significant benefits. Silicone is inherently non-toxic, odorless, and resistant to microbial growth, making it an ideal material for applications that require strict adherence to hygiene standards. Since 1979, it has been used for many FDA applications. Additionally, silicone rollers are easy to clean and sterilize, further ensuring the safety and integrity of sensitive products. 

Energy Efficiency 

Silicone’s low thermal conductivity contributes to energy efficiency in industrial operations. Silicone rollers do not absorb or retain heat as much as other materials, reducing the energy required to maintain optimal operating temperatures. This energy efficiency not only lowers operational costs but also supports sustainability initiatives by reducing the overall energy consumption of manufacturing processes. 


Silicone rubber rollers provide many benefits that enhance the performance, durability, and efficiency of industrial equipment. From exceptional temperature resistance to high durability, non-stick and non-toxic properties, and versatility, silicone proves to be a suitable material for a wide range of applications.   

If it sounds like silicone might be a good choice for your application, let us know! Our team is skilled in working with silicone to produce top-notch rubber rollers that will keep your production line running smoothly, minimizing costly delays and frustrating downtime. Contact our team today to learn more about what we offer. 

Why Isoprene Rubber (Natural Rubber) is a Great Choice for Industrial Rollers

Isoprene rubber, commonly known as natural rubber (NR), is a material derived from the latex of rubber trees. Its exceptional mechanical properties and resilience have made it a great choice for manufacturing industrial rubber rollers across a broad range of applications.  

Advantages of Isoprene Rubber for Industrial Rubber Rollers 

One of the primary advantages of natural rubber is its outstanding elasticity, which allows NR to absorb impact and revert to its original shape without permanent deformation. This property makes it ideal for applications involving repeated stress and flexing. This high resilience ensures that rollers made from natural rubber provide consistent performance and longevity. 

Natural rubber also offers excellent tensile strength and abrasion resistance. These properties are crucial for industrial rollers that endure heavy loads and constant friction. NR’s durability means fewer replacements and less frequent maintenance, enhancing operational efficiency and lowering costs. 

Another benefit of natural rubber is its ability to maintain flexibility at low temperatures (as low as -50°F), which is important for applications in cold environments. NR exhibits good adhesion to metals and other materials, facilitating the manufacturing process of composite rollers that require bonding with different substrates. 

Unique Properties of Isoprene Rubber 

Isoprene rubber possesses unique properties that set it apart from synthetic alternatives. One of its most notable features is its low hysteresis – its minimal heat buildup. This property is particularly helpful for rollers used in high-speed applications, because it reduces energy loss and prevents overheating. 

The natural origin of isoprene rubber contributes to its environmental advantages. As a renewable resource, natural rubber is biodegradable, making it a more eco-friendly option compared to many synthetic rubbers. Its sustainability is increasingly important in industries striving to reduce their environmental footprint. 

Additionally, natural rubber has some resistance to water and mild chemicals, making it a great choice for applications where exposure to moisture and various substances is common. Its high coefficient of friction also ensures superior grip and traction, which is essential for rollers used in material handling and conveyor systems. 

Applications of Isoprene Rubber Rollers 

The versatility of natural rubber makes it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. The following examples demonstrate some instances in which natural rubber may be the best choice:  

  • Textiles: NR rollers are used due to their superior grip and gentle handling of delicate fabrics.  
  • Paper: natural rubber rollers play a critical role in ensuring precise, consistent processing of paper products. Their excellent mechanical properties enable them to withstand the rigorous demands of paper manufacturing without compromising performance. 
  • Transportation & Logistics: The high traction and abrasion resistance of NR ensure the reliable movement of goods, reducing the risk of slippage and enhancing the overall efficiency of material handling processes. 
  • Agriculture: Natural rubber rollers are used in machinery for planting, harvesting, and processing crops. Their ability to absorb impact protects sensitive equipment and ensures smooth operation in challenging field conditions. 


Isoprene rubber, with its unique properties and advantages, remains a great choice of material for industrial rubber rollers. Its exceptional elasticity, tensile strength, and environmental benefits make it suitable for many applications.  

Our team of experts at Harwood Rubber Products can help you determine whether natural rubber is the best fit for your application. If it’s not, we’re also experienced in working with other material choices and even custom-developing compounds to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need to keep your production line running without interruption or delay. If you’d like more information about how our offerings can support your business, contact our team today. 

Rolling with Resilience: The Benefits of Nitrile Rubber in Industrial Rollers

Nitrile Rubber (NBR), a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene, stands out in the industrial world for its exceptional properties and versatility. It has become a popular material choice for manufacturing industrial rubber rollers due to its combination of durability, chemical resistance, and performance under varying conditions. 

Advantages of Nitrile Rubber for Industrial Rubber Rollers 

One of the most well-known advantages of Nitrile Rubber is its excellent resistance to oils, fuels, and other chemicals. This property makes NBR particularly suitable for applications where exposure to such substances is frequent, such as in printing, automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. NBR can withstand a wide range of temperatures, typically from -40°F to 226°F, which enhances its utility in diverse industrial environments. 

The material’s high tensile strength and abrasion resistance ensure that rollers made from NBR have a long service life, even in demanding applications. NBR’s resistance to wear and tear minimizes maintenance needs and downtime, optimizing operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. 

Unique Properties of Nitrile Rubber 

Nitrile Rubber has several unique properties that make it so versatile. It has a high resilience to physical impacts and mechanical stress, which is essential for rollers that experience constant motion and pressure. Additionally, NBR’s ability to resist swelling and deformation in the presence of oils and fuels prevents rollers from losing their shape and functionality over time. 

NBR also has a low compression set. This means that NBR rollers can maintain their original thickness and shape after prolonged compression, which is crucial for maintaining consistent performance in applications such as conveyor systems and printing presses. 

Applications of Nitrile Rubber Rollers 

NBR works well across a broad range of industrial applications.  

  • Printing: used for their excellent ink and solvent resistance, ensuring clean and precise printing with minimal smudging or contamination. These rollers also exhibit excellent resistance to the cleaning chemicals used in printing presses, extending their operational life. 
  • Automotive: used in various components such as fuel hoses, gaskets, and seals due to their superior resistance to fuels and oils. This application extends to other types of machinery where the rollers come into contact with lubricants and hydraulic fluids. 
  • Food processing: resistance to fats and oils, combined with their ability to withstand high temperatures, makes them suitable for food handling equipment; FDA-compliant grades of NBR ensure these rollers can be safely used in food contact applications without risking contamination. 
  • Manufacturing and material handling: integral to conveyor systems, where their durability and resistance to abrasion and chemicals ensure smooth and efficient operation. These rollers can handle a variety of materials, from heavy industrial goods to delicate items, without compromising performance. 


Nitrile Rubber’s unique properties and advantages make it a valuable material for industrial rubber rollers. Its exceptional resistance to oils, chemicals, and physical stress, combined with its adaptability to different industrial requirements, makes it a great choice of material for enhancing the efficiency and reliability of industrial processes.  

Our team at Harwood Rubber Products is experienced in using nitrile rubber across a broad range of applications and industries for our customers, and we can work with you to custom-develop materials and compositions based on your unique needs. No matter what type of materials you need, our team can deliver a rubber roller that is durable and reliable to keep your operations running smoothly. Contact us for more information.