High Density Polyethylene Rollers

HDPE rollers offer many advantages over traditional steel rollers in a variety of environmental conditions.

Conveyed material will adhere more readily to steel rollers and will create an uneven and imbalanced surface, resulting in improper belt tracking and conveyed substance spillage.

Also, steel rollers suffer from the adverse effects of rust and corrosion from high moisture/high humidity environments. This rust and corrosion lead to belt failure from damaged rollers. These negative effects force steel rollers to be replaced much sooner than HDPE rollers, resulting in more down time, less productivity and higher overall costs. HDPE rollers do not rust or corrode from use in or near wet conditions and therefore last longer than their steel counterparts.


HDPE Roller Characteristics & Features
  • High Density Material
  • Anti-Acidic / Anti-Alkaline
  • Anti-Static
  • Low Noise & Friction
  • Perfect Dynamic Balancing
  • 50% Lighter than Steel Rollers
  • Suitable for High Humidity and High Pollution Environments
  • Power Saving
  • Cost Saving
  • Recyclable

Custom Conveyor Roller

Conveyor Rollers: Challenges and Solutions

You wouldn’t use a hammer when what you really need is a laser level. At Universal Roll, conveyor rollers fill our toolbox. We know when a UR Nordic conveyor roller will suffice and when a UR Premium roller is needed. With conveyor systems, one size does not fit all.

Roller customization helps to ensure the safe and speedy transport of materials along a conveyor line. Designing a successful system requires skill, experience and precise calculation. A number of different factors must be taken into account, including specific industry needs, the type of material being transported and the speed and capacity of the system.



Transported Material

The type of material being transported dictates the size and capacity of a conveyor system and the manner in which the rollers operate. A system designed to transport cardboard boxes will likely not serve the needs of a high-capacity mining company transporting minerals, sand or other bulk materials.

Drive Design and Output – Is your product soft and flexible or hard and rigid? The flexibility of transported material directly affects the design of a conveyor roller system.

Harder materials, such as metal or stone, have a lower starting and rolling resistance than softer materials, such as sand. Rolling resistance, or drag, is the amount of resistance an object encounters as it travels steadily along a straight line. Rolling resistance and starting resistance determine the amount of power required to move an object.

What this means is that:

  •  Harder materials require a higher drive output than softer materials, even if they weigh the same
  •  Softer materials require less roller pitch than harder materials

System Capacity

Our conveyor systems are designed for maximum load capacity, regardless of the type of material being transported. The base of some material may be covered in ruts, hollows or ridges. Such material variations must be accounted for in a conveyor roller design. Our custom conveyor roller are designed so that drive output can easily be adjusted. Roller pitch is calculated in advance to maximize speed, capacity and performance.

Material Size

The width and length of transported material must be measured. This will affect:

  •  Pitch – The roller pitch is calculated to ensure that a minimum of three conveyor rollers are continuously positioned beneath your product.
  •  Run – The ratio of length to width affects the stability and straight run of your product. For instance, if the length to width ratio is small, then additional stabilization may be necessary for straight running.
  •  Reference Length – The formula for determining reference length is width + 50 millimeters, or 1.97 inches. For large pallets or oversized items, the formula must be adjusted to width + 100 millimeters, or 3.94 inches. When conveyor rollers are tapered, i.e., for curves, additional calculations must be made.

Material Height

As the height of a product increases, its footprint remains constant. This can result in material falling over during transport along the conveyor. This can be avoided by: 1) maintaining a constant rate of acceleration; 2) Avoiding sharp braking; and 3) minimizing roller pitch so that the largest surface area always maintains contact with the conveyor.

Accidents can be avoided by predetermining the potential risk of objects falling. To do this, we calculate the material’s center of gravity.

Material Weight

Material weight is especially important in designing a safe and effective conveyor system. The following issues must be addressed:

  •  Weight Distribution – In a perfect system, the weight of all transported material is distributed evenly across the conveyors. In reality, uneven distribution sometimes occurs. In such cases, our goal is to minimize the unevenness by maintaining the proportion of load-bearing rollers.
  •  Load Capacity – Weight distribution allows individual rollers to remain below their maximum weight capacity. Larger diameter tubes have larger capacities and threaded shafts provide additional reinforcement.
  •  Drives – Universal Roll provides a large selection of products that can be customized for specific applications.

Miscellaneous Issues

Outside of material concerns, other issues can affect the operation of your conveyor system. Will the system be housed in an area with high humidity or intense heat? Do you expect heavy build-up along your rollers? Do you require that your new system integrate seamlessly into your old one? Do you need technical direction or written documentation? A qualified conveyor roll manufacturer will ask these questions and others to determine the custom design that best fulfills your business needs.

Customized conveyor rollers allow for maximum efficiency, output and speed – so long as they are properly designed, manufactured and assembled. Because so many variables must be predicted and accounted for, avoid potential pitfalls by choosing an experienced conveyor roller manufacturer.


A New Player In Heavy-Duty Roller Conveyor Systems

The old way of doing things is not always the best way. The same can be said of many new innovations that fail to build upon the firm foundation of the past. At Universal Roll, we have taken the solid experience of the past and added in a host of new materials and processes to produce what is simply the most superior heavy-duty roller conveyor system in the world.

Like the best conveyor systems of the past, ours starts with an oversize helping of high quality steel for our frame. Rather than trim a millimeter here or a few thousandths of an inch over there to save a few pennies on production costs, we stick with what has always worked. Our mounting brackets are made of full sized stock that is able to stand up to the constant pounding to which conveyors are always subjected.

Where Universal Roll systems truly excel, however, is in the revolutionary new roller design we attach to these beefy frames. Universal uses a specialized HDPE tube as the foundation and then secures these with four modern ultra-precise roller bearing assemblies. It would be easy to get by with the usual two bearings per roller, but our research has shown that this is simply not good enough for a company that wants to produce a better product rather than an equivalent product.

Universal Roll knows that it is easy for most companies to simply replace worn out parts of their existing conveyor systems with news ones ordered from their current supplier. There needs to be a reason for purchasing managers to give someone else a shot at their business. At Universal Roll, we offer superior new heavy-duty roller conveyor assemblies that come at a very competitive price.

A Universal roller will never let you down, no matter how hard you stress it. Regardless of whether you need the heaviest duty units for bulk goods such as concrete aggregate or asphalt, or speedy compact rollers to fit inside a crowded package handling facility, we have what you require. In addition to its line of standard sized roller systems, Universal is also able to manufacture custom fit units to your specifications on a very rapid schedule. Contact Universal Roll for quotes, specifications, demonstrations, or product availability at www.universalroll.com. Respect the past, embrace the future, and always be open to new ideas. At Universal Roll, that is who we are.

Ride On With New Conveyor Idlers

We live in a very mobile civilization. No matter where you look, there are huge quantities of materials that need to be moved from one place to another in order for us to continue to enjoy the quality of life we presently possess. One of the most labor and cost efficient ways of moving items is with conveyor belts. Everything from overnight delivery packages to bulk grains and industrial materials moves along these tracks swiftly and with no damage to the product.

A conveyor belt assembly is driven by a motorized drive unit on one end of the system that most often rotates the endless loop of the conveyor belt forward along the upper surface of the belt and makes the return journey back to the starting point underneath. The most familiar example of a conveyor belt to most people would be those found in grocery store checkout counters. Along the way, a series of conveyor idlers are placed to carry the weight of the materials as it progresses forward along the belt. Conveyor idlers are basically composed of free spinning cylinders attached to a secure mounting bracket.

Given the nature of conveyor belt systems and the vast amount of goods they must handle, the individual components of conveyor belts need to operate at peak efficiency all the time. That means that delays for routine maintenance and necessary parts replacement must be kept to an absolute minimum. Universal Roll has created a new set of conveyor idlers that are manufactured out of technologically superior materials using advanced assembly techniques that will add service life and reduce maintenance for even the most shopworn system currently in operation.

The new Universal Roll conveyor idler features an advanced HDPE (high density polyethylene) idler roller that is mounted upon not two but four of the highest quality roller bearings. This not only allows their new line of conveyor idlers to withstand higher temperatures and greater material weights, but it also vastly extends resistance to the usual spate of unavoidable culprits that can lead to roller failure. Their superior new sealing technique means that less dust and humidity can invade the bearing housings. Doubling the number of bearings in each idler unit means that each bearing carries only half as much of the load as on older units, and has better than twice the MTBF (mean time between failure) rating as well.

Check out the full line of advanced Universal Roll products at www.universalroll.com and keep the wheels of commerce spinning.

How conveyor belt works

Conveyor belts have been in use since the 19th century and were used primarily in ore mining. The conveyor belts at that time were used to load rail cars more efficiently. The ore was transported out of the mine on ore carts and then loaded on to the conveyor belts for loading rail cars. Around the turn of the century, new technology was introduced that allowed miners to load conveyor belts inside the mines. Currently the longest conveyor belt in the world is approximately 100 kilometers or 62 miles long and is being used in a phosphate mine, in Western Sahara.

Conveyor belts today are in use, in many industries other than mining. Airports use a conveyor system to load and unload baggage, and to make the baggage available to their passengers. Conveyor belts can be straight, curved or even circular. Conveyor belts were revolutionary in mass production. Employees could stand in one place, and the product would come to them for packaging or inspection. Along the conveyor system, each worker would perform a task and the product would move to the next station. Chain type conveyor systems are widely used in the automotive industry because of their carrying ability. The chain conveyors are ideal for transporting bulky car parts. Chain conveyors are useful in manufacturing because they can carry items stacked on pallets. Chain conveyors have reduced the need for forklifts in many warehouses and manufacturing plants.

The conveyor system itself is relatively straightforward. The term belt is used to describe the surface on which the product is transported installed on conveyor rollers. Belts can be made of rubber, nylon, steel or a combination of materials. The belt can be solid surface to prevent items from falling through or a screen type to vibrate and sort different sized ore or gravel. Conveyor belts can also weigh product as it is transported. This is useful in particular when loading trucks or rail cars that can only carry a specific weight.

Conveyor belts can be portioned off to help contain loose material when the belt must be inclined to load or unload trucks. The belt can incline as needed and the loose material will not slide or fall back on the conveyor belt. Individuals looking at this type of system may be reminded of a water wheel that scoops the water. The compartmented system is called an elevator belt because of its incline capabilities. The elevator belts can be used for any loose material such as gravel or mineral ores and even coal. Because, of the incline capabilities sand, and gravel can be mounded higher to save space. The conveyor can incline to dump product at the top much higher than the standard bucket loader.

Conveyor belt system can be used in farming for transporting product from the fields. There is a loading point where the produce is loaded on the conveyor and transported to the sorting and processing sheds. Conveyor systems can be portable and easily moved from job to job. Conveyor belts are used in grocery stores, so the clerk can check customers out more efficiently. Walk machines in many cases use a conveyor belt system, as do escalators. Conveyor belts have done more than just transport products they have transported industry forward.

Conveyor Rollers for the Mining Industry

Mining Industry Conveyors

The mining industry uses heavy duty belt conveyor for transportation, production lines and production departments.   They are used mainly for conveying raw materials in a horizontal or inclined conveying system such as coal, gravel, sand, cement, grain, rocks and are made from a main belt supported by conveyor rollers or conveyor idlers in single lane or in a v-shaped series.


A typical mining conveyor will use heavy duty Conveyor Rollers or also called Conveyors Idlers.  Conveyor systems are use all over the world in hundreds of different industries due to the incredible amount of benefits they bring to a business.  They are used to transport materials, merchandise, and raw material. Conveyors can be installed almost anywhere and reduce the security risk compared to forklift and move materials. Conveyors comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes ad weights and are used by such industries as: automotive, agricultural, computer and electronics, food processing, aerospace, pharmaceutical, chemical, bottling, canning, print finishing,  bottles and cans, wood, sand and mining industry.

Conveyor Rollers or Conveyor Idlers for the mining industry

Conveyor Rollers are built for strength, durability, and low noise-level.  A free-wheeling roller design eliminates misalignment of the shaft and high quality conveyor rollers are usually fit with adjustment screw to provide easy adjustment.

Externally, a conveyor idler is made of HDPE, high density polyethylene, which is much lighter than steel and provide a higher resistance to abrasion.  HDPE Rollers are really popular for the mining industry.

Structural resistance and roller stiffness are also very important when choosing your conveyor rollers.  Look for conveyor idlers made of high quality aluminum for reduced weight and no increases in weight.

Another important characteristic to look for in your conveyor idlers is the type of oil or grease use in the cartridge.  A warm or tropical climate usually requires a grease-type mechanism whilst an artic weather climate will work better with oil type mechanism.

Conveyor Belt Rollers Maintenance

The mining conveyor belt will require more frequent maintenance compared to more traditional industries as the weight and the volume moved by the conveyor is usually much higher as is the presence or dust and various other rubbles. Make sure you perform maintenance when there is abnormal noises, loose conveyor rollers, running deviation situation, motor reducer lubricant.

HDPE for Conveyor Rollers

History of HDPE
At the last hours of the nineteenth century, a German chemist named Hans von Pechman detected a precipitate while working with methane and ether. Thirty years after the discovery, an American chemist named Carl Shipp Marvel succeeded in creating high density residue by applying high pressure on ethylene. British chemists Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson produced a solid form of Polyethylene in 1935 and it was used for Radar cable insulation during World War II.

The actual breakthrough came in 1953 by Karl Ziegler and Erhard Holzcamp when they invented High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The process was enhanced by using a catalyst and low pressure. For his remarkable invention, Karl Ziegler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963.

Source of HDPE
High density polyethylene is a petroleum product. About 1.75 kg of petroleum is spent to produce 1.0kg of HDPE. As a common practice, HDPE is recycled. World market volume of HDPE is around 30 million tons a year. It’s harder and stronger than other PE versions. It’s slightly heavier and less ductile than LDPE.

HDPE is a linear polymer having no branches. Due to the compact structure of the molecule, its density is higher and possesses higher chemical resistance than other PE products. It’s opaque and tolerates high temperatures (120 degrees C) for a short while and 110 degrees C for continuous operation.

Physical Properties
HDPE offers wonderful physical properties which widens the possibility of its versatile uses. Properties may be shown as below:

• Very good resistance against Acids, Alcohols, and Bases (no attack)
• Good resistance against Aldehydes, Esters, Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Ketones and Mineral and Vegetable oils (minor attack)
• Low resistance against Halogenated Hydrocarbons and Oxidizing Agents (moderate attack)
• Temperature Tolerance: Max. 120 deg C, Min – 100 deg C
• Melting Point: 130 deg C
• Tensile Strength: 4550 psi
• Hardness: SD 65
• Specific Gravity: 0.95
• Autoclavable: No
• Ultraviolet Resistance: Poor

Uses of HDPE
The unique chemical and Physical properties of HDPE suggest versatile uses of the material. Some of its present uses are listed below:

• Bottles for various purposes including food and chemicals
• Gasoline tanks
• Pipes and pipe fittings
• Plastic bags
• Children’s toys
• Geomembrane for hydraulic application

Its light weight, hardness, temperature tolerance and acid tolerance suggest some other uses of HDPE, such as conveyor rollers. A belt conveyor or a roller conveyor requires a large number of rollers. Some of them are Drive Rollers while a large number of them are called Iidlers. The drive roller is coupled with the driving motor and it applies the power for the conveyor to run and the idlers move by the frictional force applied on them through the moving belt.

Why HDPE for Rollers
Conveyor Rollers are necessary to be hard, rugged, temperature tolerant and moisture proof. HDPE has all these properties and is thus favorable for such uses. Mostly conveyors work under the temperature limit of HDPE. It’s lighter than conventional roller material, so a HDPE roller requires less energy to rotate than others. Its hardness is suitable for the purpose. So HDPE rollers are possible to use in place of metal rollers. The advantages of HDPE over metals as a roller material are such:

• Saves energy because it’s lighter
• It’s cheaper
• It’s less vulnerable to corrosion
• It’s easy to handle

Having so many advantages over metal, HDPE is now being welcomed as an alternative for the manufacture of conveyor rollers and is being used worldwide. The process industries that use HDPE rollers are:

• Pulp and Paper
• Fertilizer
• Mining
• Sand processing
• Food and Pharmaceuticals
• and many more