Saturday 24th Jul, 2021

PROK launches new heavy-duty roller

Photo: PROK

PROK is bringing to market one of the most advanced high-performance conveyor rollers that has been specifically designed for iron ore and other heavy mining applications.

The PROKOMPOSITE range satisfies the need for a light weight, non-metallic roller, but without the compromises associated with “composite” rollers seen in the market previously, according to the manufacturer.

The new roller is designed and manufactured by PROK Conveyor Components Nepean Conveyors, and delivers more value than competing steel rollers; from lower cost to corrosion resistance in wet and high-salt environments.

The company says they are safer, quieter and more economical, generating 50 per cent less noise than traditional steel rollers. The PROKOMPOSITE is also up to 55 per cent lighter than traditional steel rollers, and can achieve cost savings of up to 20 per cent due to easier maintenance and lower energy demands.

According to PROK, the new roller is durable in demanding medium-to-heavy duty conveying applications despite its light weight.

In addition, the PROKOMPOSITE features a new seal package that adds a fixed end cover for high pressure water and rock-jam protection, and greatly improved drag performance, while still featuring the lip seal and long path labyrinth from the current seal design.

Suitable for high speeds and large tonnages, the rollers are available in 152 mm and 178 mm diameters, with bearing sizes from 6306 up to 6310.

How PROKOMPOSITE achieves its performance

PROK says The secret to the performance of the PROKOMPOSITE roller is in the materials. PROK’s structural components feature fibre mats and rovings arranged to its specific requirements to achieve the necessary stiffness, strength and fatigue performance, while using resins that provide exceptional abrasion resistance.

Many rollers that use tube materials such as PVC or HDPE are simply not suitable for medium and heavy-duty applications.

This is because they bend excessively under load, or need a shell so thick that any weight advantage is negated. The PROKOMPOSITE tube material overcomes this issue.

The resin materials used in PROK’s composite roller tube are build-up and abrasion resistant. This means the PROKOMPOSITE roller will provide consistent noise performance, as it is not affected by the surface buildup that typically affects low noise rollers.

Balance and run-out are the keys to minimising roller and conveyor noise. PROK has optimised its tube manufacturing processes to achieve straightness, wall thickness consistency and roundness to the standards required for a low noise conveyor roller.

To maximise bearing and roller life it is essential that the end caps have parallel and circular bores, to the required tolerances, and they hold their shape over time and under load. By making the PROKOMPOSITE end caps from a composite, PROK has overcome this common problem with Injection Moulded End Caps.

Making the PROKOMPOSITE

The PROKOMPOSITE project had some lofty goals – to develop a light weight, low noise, low drag roller with a structure that eliminated the risk of belt damage in the event of a bearing failure.

This was all while having a shell structure that was rigid enough to ensure bearing life was maximised, and a shell that was a ‘no compromise’ alternative to steel shells when it came to durability and service life.

Working with a leading European university in the composites field, PROK developed composite structures for the tube and end cap assembly, including the seal package.

This lead to the production of prototype material samples and allowed the theoretical design work to be validated with test rig trials of shell structures, as well as traditional laboratory testing to verify strength, fatigue and stiffness performance of the materials.

With the material design completed, the PROK team then moved to develop manufacturing processes that achieve the dimensional tolerances required for conveyor rollers.

In its PROK’s experience, no supplier, except for its partners, can provide the tube and end-cap materials required for a roller like the PROKOMPOSITE.

In parallel, PROK ran extensive drag and fatigue testing at its Bayswater R&D laboratory, supplemented with third-party noise and seal performance testing.

Satisfied with the quality of materials and performance of the rollers in the laboratory environment, earlier this year the team embarked on its final step before release – the commencement of field trials on live conveyors.

The makers are pleased to report that, to date, the PROKOMPOSITE roller has not had a single failure in the field.