Heavy industry, Mining, Rollers

Composite roller cuts down on roller weight

RKM Roller Company has collaborated with an Australian composite fibre company to develop a heavy-duty, lightweight composite shell .

RKM Roller Company has developed a new composite roller that is lighter than steel and tough enough to handle the harsh mining conditions.

Rollers on mine sites need to endure harsh punishment, but for major iron ore sites weight was also an issue.

Some mines put a maximum limit on the weight a roller can be, to ensure their staff can handle the equipment safely. 

To satisfy this demand, RKM Roller Company began to seek out a partner that specialised in high tech composite materials.

Brett Maiden, RKM director, said the business had been looking for some time to align itself with a supplier of composite plastics that could produce a heavy-duty tube.

“Wagners were the world class leader in the engineering, production and processes, which is why we partnered with them to help design the roller,” he said.

“The challenge with previous heavy-duty rollers made of PVC or HDPE was that they didn’t have the flexural strength and stiffness to handle the load required on the troughing side of the conveyor which meant they were mainly used on the return side of the conveyor. Steel shells were still required for the trough side.

“Our new light weight composite roller can handle the heavy loads that the trough roller encounters.”

The rollers combined with a hollow shaft design can weigh as much as half a conventional steel roller and produce less noise without sacrificing durability, which helps make manual handling change outs on sites safer.

RKM has incorporated its RS seal package, along with a primary heavy-duty nylon protective outer dual labyrinth shield into the roller. The shield provides additional protection against contaminant ingress and eliminates rock jamming.

The company also uses dynamic balancing machines to ensure the rollers meet AS3709 G16 and achieves the best possible TIR and MIS, reducing any noise generated from the belt running across the surface of the roller.

The fibres are bound together by a unique pull-winding process, high grade glass reinforcement and resin. This provides superior flexural strength and stiffness comparable to steel.

This combination has been used in power pole cross arms, boardwalks, foot bridges, road bridges, pontoons, jetties, various mine structures, reinforcing (rebar), piping, casing, and tubing.

Key features include: 

  • Up to 50 per cent lighter than steel 
  • Advanced wear properties 
  • Superior stiffness and flexural strength 
  • Low noise 
  • High performance sealing package 
  • HD bearing housing 

The product is not classified as hazardous according to the criteria of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) Australia.

The rollers can also be fitted with the Vayeron Smart Idler Technology, which allows the user to predict the lifespan of each roller and receive alerts on upcoming maintenance and changeouts. 

RKM manufactures the rollers in its Perth facility, which is equipped with a semi-automated production line. 

Maiden said this enables significantly shorter lead times for clients and quick deliveries for all non-standard and special orders.

“We have the capability to produce almost any kind of roller, including long life cast poly impact rollers, lightweight heavy duty poly disc returns, heavy duty lightweight composite rollers, and more,” he said.

“We have a wide range of products and can even custom manufacture them for any application.” 

Send this to a friend