Drive Rollers and Idler Rollers Information

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Conveyor rollers are used to move goods along a belt or within a conveyor assembly. They differ in terms of type, dimensions, applications, and features.


Conveyor Rollers Selection Guide   Conveyor Rollers Selection Guide   Conveyor Roller Selection Guide

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Dimensional specifications for conveyor rollers include the length of the roller or the belt width of the assembly, the roller diameter, the shaft diameter, and the voltage (for powered products). In terms of features, some conveyor rollers are belt-driven, grooved, magnetized, or self-cleaning. Others have sprockets or an angled taper. Coated or plated conveyor rollers are also available.

Roller Types

Selecting conveyor rollers requires an analysis of roller types. Roller types include brake rollers, driven rollers, sprocketed rollers, grooved rollers, guide rollers, idler rollers, impact rollers, motorized drum pulleys, motorized rollers, and both spiral and wing pulleys.


  • Brake rollers are used to slow or stop the flow of goods on a conveyor assembly.
  • Driven rollers may be driven by either a belt or chain.
  • Sprocketed rollers are used with chain drives.
  • Grooved rollers are used with belt drives.
  • Guide rollers are vertically-mounted and supported by one end. These conveyor rollers are used to prevent the belt from drifting laterally.
  • Idler rollers are free-spinning and used as a conveying device. Both idler rollers and idler drum pulleys are non-powered.
  • Impact rollers are conveyor rollers that have a cushioned surface and a heavy-duty construction for sustaining hard impacting loads.
  • Motorized drum pulleys and motorized rollers are, as their names suggest, powered devices.
  • Spiral pulleys come in contact with the conveyor belt and are designed to reduce the buildup of material between the belt and the pulley face. They are sometimes used with wing pulleys, power transmission components that drive or support a belt with segments rather than a continuous surface.

Roller Sets


Conveyor roller sets are assemblies of multiple rollers. Set types include cantilever sets, garland sets, and trough sets.


  • Cantilever sets are sets of conveyor rollers that are supported at one end.
  • Garland sets are multiple roller assemblies supported by flexible joints.
  • Trough sets are idler sets that consist of multiple rollers mounted on a frame. 



Conveyor rollers differ in terms of features.


  • Belt-driven products have grooved rollers and are driven by round belts.
  • Grooved rollers are textured, typically with a groove across the length of the roller.
  • Magnetized rollers are used to sort and separate ferrous and nonferrous metal as scrap material moves along a conveyor belt.
  • Self-cleaning rollers are designed to remove foreign matter that might damage the belt.

  • Tapered rollers allow pulley tightening with less displacement along the shaft.



The British Standards Institution (BSI) specifies standard BS 2567 for the dimensions and materials for the rollers, skate wheels, and supporting frames for straight and curved sections of fixed and portable non-powered roller conveyors for industrial use.




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