The “rotating lightning rod”: New roller from igus protects against static sparking

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Lubrication- and maintenance-free xiros stainless steel support roller ensures safe operation thanks to electrostatic dissipation.

Sparks caused by a lack of electrostatic dissipation can lead to expensive failures of machines and systems, and in the worst case can lead to explosions. To increase protection, igus has introduced a dissipated version of its lubrication- and maintenance-free xiros support roller made from stainless steel.

Walking through a department store with rubber-soled shoes, grabbing the railing of the escalator and getting an electrostatic shock: unpleasant, but not a major problem. But the situation is more serious in many industrial manufacturing processes, such as machines and systems for packaging film production or food packaging. Here, uncontrolled electrostatic discharges resulting in sparking can lead to machine damage and high failure and repair costs, and in the worst case even trigger fires and explosions.

To protect companies from such damage, igus has developed the xiros stainless steel support roller – a kind of rotating lightning rod that ensures controlled electrostatic discharge. The rollers are a cost-effective alternative to antistatic brushes and expensive in-house fabrications. The ready-to-install rollers are available in bearing sizes 608, 6000 and 6001 with a stainless-steel pipe length of 100 to 1,000mm.

No lubricants enable barrier-free electrostatic discharge
The new xiros stainless steel roller is suitable, for example, as a pulley for films in packaging machines. It is made of a stainless steel-plastic material mix, which causes electrostatic dissipation. The tube and balls of the rolling bearing are made of stainless steel, while the inner and outer rings are made of igus’s antistatic high-performance plastic xirodur F180. The rollers can operate effectively between -40 °C and +80°C. Unlike classic metal bearings, no lubricants are required that could have an insulating effect and prevent discharge. Electrostatic dissipation is made via the jacket surface of the pipe to the outer ring, the balls in the bearing and finally via the inner ring to the shaft.

Suitable for contact with food and roller selection tool
Antistatic properties are not the only advantage of the lubricant-free nature of the xiros stainless steel roller. Dry running also improves the hygiene of machinery and equipment and reduces contamination risks. And all individual components are suitable for contact with food. Users also benefit from long service-life and lower maintenance costs, as there is no need to relubricate the rolling bearings.

igus has developed the “roller expert” for the quick selection of the correct roller. In the online tool, the user specifies the outer and inner diameter as well as the length of the roller, the load, the load case and the ambient temperature. By entering the force and the degree of wrapping, the tool calculates the resulting force on the roller and displays the suitable roller models. In the second step, the user can select his deflection roller based on the deflection, weight, and price data, download the CAD data of the configuration and order the roller directly online.