PU support rings


In the bulk material conveyor belt systems, the idlers of the lower run (lower belt rollers) are usually equipped with support rings, so as to optimally adapt the idlers to the operating conditions in the lower run.

The most important goal here is the protection against the caking, which can otherwise arise on the non-elastic steel surface of the idler roller shell. In this case, the bulk particles brought by the conveyor belt adhere to the running surface of the idler. The diameter of the idler increases and the shape becomes irregular (see picture). This can lead to the following problems:

  • Irregular and thus significantly faster wear of the idlers;
  • Belt misalignment;
  • Belt vibrations and thus vibrations and impact loads on the idlers, which can lead to bearing damage of the idlers;
  • Strong noise emissions.
Caking on the shell of a lower belt roll
Deformation of the elastic covering under load leads to spalling of the caking

A covering made of an elastic material is used for the running surfaces of the idler. As a result, caking can no longer form on the running surfaces of the idler at all. 
In order not to increase the running resistance of the idler, the area of contact between the covering and the conveyor belt is reduced. The simplest way to implement this is to use rings made of elastic material, which are installed at certain distances from each other on the idler shell - support rings. 
The types, the number and the positions of the support rings on the idler shell are defined by the "support ring arrangements".

This not only solves the problems mentioned above, but also achieves some other important features at the same time:

  • Protection against corrosion;
  • Reduction of the movement resistance of the belt (due to indentation rolling resistance);
  • Damping of belt vibrations;
  • Significant reduction of noise emissions due to idler operation;
  • Reduction of the idler weight and especially the rotating masses of the idler;
  • Visualization of the wear of the idler running surfaces for quick and easy inspection.

The wear visualization is a particularly important advantage over the idlers without support rings. It is a very good design measure to effectively prevent wear-related idler shell breaks and the resulting belt damage (pizza cutter).

Rubber vs. Polyurethane

In the past, only support rings made of rubber were used - at that time mainly for cost reasons. We started to use the support rings made of polyurethane a long time ago. This has the following reasons:

  • Compared to standard rubber products under the same operating conditions, a service life extension by a factor five;
  • Material: KÜPPER polyurethane special compound, abrasion max. 20mm³ (DIN 53516);
  • Reduction of the running resistance by a factor of two compared to rubber support rings;
  • Polyurethane is self-extinguishing;
  • Lower heat generation due to less flexing work in the material compared to rubber.

We mainly use the support rings in three designs:

  • Form A (according to DIN 15210);
  • Form B (according to DIN 15210);
  • Trapezoidal.

Last design we have optimized specifically for the highest demands. It has improved geometry with reinforcing ribs and is mainly used for the production of idlers of the "Compact Plus" and "Premium" quality classes.

Furthermore, we use 4-fold packages of PU.

Construction forms of the support rings


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