Significance of Bearings in the Performance of Idler Pulleys

February 26, 2019

Idler pulleys are classed as non-drive rollers on a belt or chain impelled conveyor system. Now, without thinking about bearing features, we think about how unpowered idlers take up drivetrain slack. They enhance belt drive performance, in other words. But system idler pulleys feature another talent. Equipped with high-performance rolling elements, they work behind the scenes to channel and redirect system power.

Non-Drive Friction Managers

Think of idler pulleys as the force manipulating heart of a conveyor system. They don’t create power themselves, but they do channel and redirect those energies. Of some significance, the idling rollers use high-quality bearings to guide belt or chain driven sections through convoluted energy transmitting sections. Each of those sections helps guide the load transporting ribbon forward, or it checks itself as the ribbon moves into reverse. Each of those sections adds a force attenuating effect to the system, and that subtractive effect accumulates. Left like this, a complex conveyor system architecture would create unmanageable quantities of drag. That’s one of the prime reasons for incorporating drag and friction inhibiting idler bearings, for they dismiss this energy attenuating effect.

Sustains High-Velocity Demands

If we could somehow “de-clutch” a long and complicated conveyor system’s drivetrain, it would slide forward at the lightest touch. That’s because there’s very little drag to slow the interlocking shafts and belts down. Magnifying this effect until the conveyor system moves at high speeds, the same idler pulley bearings boost their non-powered performance profiles. Granted, there’s no outside energy being applied to the idlers, but their smoothly moving rolling elements easily transmit drive energy. In the end, their non-powered shafts don’t create a performance hurdle or drive bottleneck because they’re equipped with a superb friction reduction core.

They Redirect Drive Energy

Think about it, the notion that a key unpowered system assembly won’t dampen the power. It’s an easy enough feature to imagine when idler pulleys are taking up drive slack. The rollers are exposed to sidereal forces, but the bearings take the stress. Elsewhere, other idlers are redirecting a belt around a corner, they’re performing as clutch-action aids, or they’re helping out when a change of direction takes place. Without bearings, the rollers would exact a heavy price, and that force attenuating effect would accumulate. Equipped with high-performance bearings, they convey and redirect the energy without sapping any of that system power.

Unpowered rollers steal conveyor system drive power, that’s just the hard reality of the matter. To eliminate such performance bottlenecks and drive hurdles, ones that would collect throughout the equipment assembly, non-drive capable idler pulleys come equipped with high-quality bearings.

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