Pulley and Roller Lagging Information

PulleyPulley and roller lagging is the process of covering the surface of rollers or pulleys to increase traction, prevent premature wear, improve alignment between the roller/pulley and a belt, and extend the overall lifetime of the system. Lagging is also used to protect the surface of the roller or pulley from damaging media such as rocks, abrasive materials, and or chemicals. Pulley and roller lagging is often used in conveyor applications.


Pulley and roller lagging materials often include:

  • rubber
  • ceramic
  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • urethane


Typically, there are two ways to manufacture pulley and roller lagging: through steam processing or molding. Lagging is often steam-cured and coated with rubber that has undergone steam pressure applications. Pulley and roller lagging may also be manufactured using a molding process, where the material does not undergo a steam-curing. Molded pulley and roller lagging is often more stable, provides better gripping, and tends to last up to four times longer.

Some specialty pulley and roller lagging includes ceramic pieces inserted into rubber lagging and/or ceramic coating on a rubber lagging. Both ceramic and rubber lagging can appear like a tire, as many surface textures allow for high traction and water run-off. Some common patterns exhibited by pulley and lagging:

  • diamond
  • herringbone
  • chevron
  • aligner groove
  • circumferential groove

Pulley and roller lagging is also available in strips, bars, coatings, rolls, sheets, and sleeves. Strip and bar lagging are narrow configurations that are attached to a pulley and roller. Pulley and roller lagging coatings are liquid materials applied to the lagging surface. Once it cures and adheres, the coating provides a protective layer.

Other types of pulley and roller lagging include rolls, sheets, and sleeve. Roll-shaped configurations are long, narrow materials wrapped into a roll. Sheets refer to a full sheet of material that is typically cut to size and used to completely cover the face of the roller and/or pulley. Pulley and roller lagging sleeves slide over the pulley and roller. All configurations of pulley and roller lagging may be applied by using adhesive, bolts, or welding.


Considerations for choosing pulley and roller lagging include thickness and width of the lagging required, and the lengths of the pulley and roller, and of the lagging itself. Other considerations may be necessary depending on the make and manufacturer.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Integral Lagging Extension

CR4 Community—Simple Braking Mechanism for Cable and Pulley

CR4 Community—Lagging in Steam Traps

Image credit:

Baldor Electric Company