CST Composites has added composite rollers, cores and shafts to its product range. The tubes are made via the filament winding process and use a carbon fibre/epoxy matrix. Glass fibre and other composites can also be used.
These rollers are most commonly used in paper and plastics manufacturing and printing industries, for applications such as printing press rollers, idler rollers, in laminating lines and paper and film machines.
Replacing steel rollers with composites can save up to 75% in weight. This weight reduction is an important factor when it comes to occupational health and safety issues, especially in avoiding the incidence of back injury that can be caused by repeat roller lifting.
It also reduces operator fatigue. In addition, the low rotational inertia means quicker safety stops and reduced web stretching. Being able to run faster line speeds and effect faster speed changes means increases in productivity.
From a maintenance point of view, lighter rollers result in less wear and tear on bushes, bearings and machinery in general. The improved ease of handling can help prevent damage to materials and equipment.
The rollers can be supplied bare, ground, clear-coated, or with elastomeric coatings. CST fabricates the rollers to specification, and they can be supplied with custom machined ends.