R. A. Rodriguez is the sole UK distributor for the new Bryant TuffCore conveyor pulleys that save weight and cost, but without compromising performance. Suitable for OEM designs or for retrofitting to existing conveyors, Bryant TuffCore pulleys are a highly cost-effective alternative to stainless steel in particular, and they provide much greater design flexibility than traditional types. Furthermore, as they weigh approximately half as much as steel shell pulleys, they also require less drive power.
Bryant says that pulley design has failed to keep pace with developments in conveyor technology, with little or no advances in materials of manufacture. Bryant has therefore created a patented pulley comprising a TuffCore foam roller around a steel shaft, with a TuffCote (Durathane) outer coating (lagging) that is chemically bonded to the foamed core. It is this combination of materials that gives the Bryant pulley its weight advantage.
Reduced weight also benefits other system components; for example, bearing life is extended, and gearbox wear is reduced. There is also less inertia to overcome, so conveyors can start, stop and reverse more quickly and index with greater accuracy - which is a particular advantage in applications such as shrink-wrapping.
These pulleys are also claimed to be easier to service and have a reduced need for supporting structures. In many cases, smaller motors, gearboxes and bearings may be used, which, in turn, draw less power.
Bryant Tuffcore pulleys are moulded, not fabricated, which greatly simplifies production and associated costs, and also reduces lead times (but note that there are no physical moulds required). While the design retains a steel shaft, there is no steel shell, steel end disks, hubs or bushings, all of which eliminates the need for secondary machining, finishing and time-consuming assembly. They are also maintenance-free.
Improved balance and run-out are further advantages of Bryant TuffCore pulleys, which is particularly beneficial on high-speed conveyor applications. The total indicated runout (TIR) of the Bryant product is typically 90 per cent better than for conventional steel counterparts. The foam and coating combination eliminates the need for balancing, which is a further cost saving. Users will also notice a sharp reduction in structure-borne noise and vibration thanks to the inherent damping characteristics of the urethane foam core and coating.
As both the foam and coating are chemically inert, TuffCore pulleys can effectively replace stainless steel, resulting in substantial savings in cost and weight. Bryant TuffCore pulleys are also suitable for any application requiring corrosion resistance; in this case the pulleys are manufactured using the same TuffCore and TuffCoat materials, but with a stainless steel shaft.
The product is highly resistant to chemicals and water, so is eminently suited for wash-down areas; the foam core is fully sealed against the environment by the TuffCoat lagging (and if this coating is breached, water absorption in the foamed core is less than 2 per cent). The outer layer has been the subject of three years' destructive testing. Proven in other manufacturing environments, it is suitable for belt loads from 225-450kg and conveyor speeds of up to 300m/min.
All crown types are available in the Bryant TuffCore product programme, and pulley diameters are not limited to available tube sizes. This results in shorter lead times, as diameter is adjusted by means of the foam thickness rather than the incorporation of heavier-walled tubing. The Bryant manufacturing process is also claimed to provide the cheapest method of producing V-guide pulleys, as no machining or secondary operations are required.
Clearly the new Bryant TuffCore pulleys will find favour in food and pharmaceutical processing and packaging applications, but also in parts handling, airport baggage handling, bulk handling or, indeed, any conveyor application where weight, cost and performance are important considerations.
As well as cylindrical designs, TuffCore pulleys are available in tapered and crowned styles, with optional drive grooves. Currently the pulleys are available in diameters from 75-300mm and in lengths up to 1200mm. The TuffCore pulleys can either be used with conveyor belts, or the abrasion-resistant TuffCote lagging is tough enough to withstand direct contact with the materials being conveyed.
Follow the link for more information about conveyor components, including the new Bryant TuffCore pulleys, from RA Rodriguez.