Common Mechanical Problems in Kiln Support Rollers

A properly functioning kiln requires precise distribution of heat within the drum, which can only happen if the kiln drum is turning smoothly on its kiln support rollers. Those support rollers hold up the entire weight of the kiln, potentially holding up to a thousand tons on each pair of rollers. As a result, even small issues with kiln alignment, or deformations in the kiln shell, can have significant impacts on operation, as well as potentially cause damage to the support structure.

So, the kiln support rollers must be properly maintained and protected to ensure the long-term proper functioning of the kiln. With decades of experience supporting and repairing kilns around the country, we are experts at properly protecting the rollers.

Common Issues with Kiln Support Rollers

1 – Kiln shell expansion

Because weight and balance are so critical to the proper turning of a kiln on its rollers, any changes to the shape of the kiln shell, even small changes, can have an oversized effect on operations.

If the kiln is improperly insulated or there is damage to the refractory lining, heat can make its way to the shell and cause it to deform. In turn, this causes extra stress on the rollers, as well as potentially throwing the load off balance. The potential damage done here goes beyond the rollers, to the entire support system, which is now dealing with stresses beyond the design tolerances.


2 – Dirt and grime on the rollers

Working with a kiln typically generates a lot of dirt, grime, and grease – but these cannot be allowed to build up on the rollers. Because of the pressures and forces involved, even very small particles can be forced into the surface of the rollers, creating micro-cracks. Over time, these then become weak points that may expand into larger visible cracks that threaten the kiln rollers.

Proper kiln maintenance calls for keeping the rollers as clean as possible and monitoring them for any buildup of dirt and other waste.


3 – Uneven wear

Even if a kiln is properly balanced, the tires which help the support rollers move may cause damage over time. The tires are always smaller than the roller, so the point of contact will wear down. After years, this can cause the rollers to become slightly concave, throwing off proper balance and rotation.

It’s a good idea to periodically measure your rollers and ensure they’re still in the right shape. If they’ve become concave, replacing them may be called for.

Kiln Technology Company Company is here to keep your kiln rolling smoothly. If you’re having technical issues, or need spare parts or repairs, just contact us!