What are bearingless rollers?

December 12, 2022

National Plastics & Rubber are the proud manufacturer of bearingless roller systems used across draglines, shovels and other mining equipment. Our innovative system was created in response to the numerous disadvantages presented by traditional roller systems.

Traditional roller systems consist of polyurethane bonded to a solid shaft that rotates on bearings. There are many disadvantages to this system:

1.      Wear out easily

The systems can wear out easily due to rope wear patterns, requiring consistent maintenance. As the polyurethane is bonded to the shaft along the whole length – and the rope generally wears on one section – the whole system needs to be restriped and lagging replaced, although wear has only occurred to one section.

2.      Cost of replacement

The cost of replacing a traditional roller system is unnecessary and unsafe. As the polyurethane is bonded to the shaft, when a segment needs replacing due to wear, the entire roller system must be removed and replaced. This is an expensive task requiring a crane or other lifting equipment to get the system out.

3.      Cost of having spares in stock

To keep machine downtime low, the system needs to be replaced almost immediately after it has been removed. That means numerous spare roller systems, in different sizes, need to be held in stock. There is also often a long turnaround time and lead time if you have stock and need to wait for a replacement roller system.

4.      Bearings can seize up

The bearings can seize up and the roller will then stop turning – causing the rope to wear through.

In response to these concerns, National Plastics & Rubber designed, tested and manufactured our now globally trusted bearingless roller systems. These systems pose many benefits to the mining community – improving safety, machine uptime and site productivity:

1.      Easy replacement

Our bearingless roller segments are manufactured from lightweight polyurethane and can be handled by hand (avg. 8kg) – eliminating the need for a crane or other lifting equipment.

2.      Standardisation

We encourage you to have the same segment across all areas of your machines. This will eliminate the need to store and stock multiple segment sizes and roller systems – a problem encountered when using traditional roller systems. Here, if you are using the same segment, no matter what length shaft or aperture you encounter, you only need to stock one segment – no need for different bearingless roller segments.

3.      Segment rotation

Bearingless roller systems provide you with the ability to rotate out segments that are experiencing wear. The worn segment can be rotated out and used as a spacer – and a new (unworn) segment can be shifted into the wear area. As a result, all of the material can be used, compared to a standard roller where if one section is worn out the whole roller system will need replacing.

4.      Bearing free

Of course one of the main benefits of our bearingless roller systems is that they are bearing free! Therefore eliminating the need for maintenance of the bearings as the segments simply rotate on the shaft. The bearingless roller system comes greased as well to ensure smooth rotation.

At National Plastics & Rubber we strive for continuous improvement, always seeking new innovation opportunities to meet customer inquiries and challenges. We possess state-of-the-art product design facilities to advance our current product range through customisation. Recently we designed a specific roller system to ensure continuous movement and free flowing spin of segment rollers.

National Plastics & Rubber looks forward to the opportunity to supply your site with bearingless roller systems. Give us a call on (07) 3279 3066 or email sales@nationalplastics.net.au for more information or to arrange a shovel or dragline inspection Australia.

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