Polyurethane Acorn Rollers

When you’re three servings into grandma’s mashed potatoes, you probably aren’t thinking about how they got to your pantry in the first place. And, we wouldn’t blame you. There’s a reason potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable. But did you know that you’d have a lot fewer of them to go around without root crop rollers? Or why so many agricultural companies now prefer to make these rollers out of polyurethane? Read on to learn more about acorn and finger rollers and how they help make carrot cake and hash browns more accessible.

What Are Root Crop Rollers?

If you’ve ever harvested potatoes, you know that root crops are a messy business. While getting the vegetable is easy, you must dust off rocks, dirt clumps, and bits of earthworms before you can eat it. This cleaning process is often just as—if not more—strenuous than the harvesting itself. To help automate this process, agricultural companies created stone separation tables (SST).  Bristles and rollers in these tables help separate unwanted debris from the potatoes and other root vegetables as they move from one side of the table to the other.

 The Different Types of Rollers for Root Crops

Because each root crop is different, SSTs often rely on a variety of root crop rollers to get the job done. By being selective, farmers lessen the likelihood that rocks will be missed or valuable produce dropped through a hole because of a space that’s too large.  The two most common root crop rollers are:

  • Acorn Rollers: These rollers are shaped vaguely like an acorn and boast a series of pointed edges arranged in a starburst. They can be designed with both a square and rounded bore. These hedgehog-like root crop rollers help remove caked-on mud from the skin of beets, carrots, and potatoes.
  • Finger Rollers: Unlike the above, finger rollers boast soft, rounded edges arranged like the spindling arms of a hurricane. Their softer edges help prevent bruising and are a good choice for more fragile crops. Due to their shape, you’ll often hear them called “star” rollers.

Why You Should Use Polyurethane for Your Root Crop Rollers

Once upon a time, plastic or rubber were the go-to materials for finger and acorn rollers. They’re even mentioned in the original patent! But modern-day agricultural machinery demands better materials—like polyurethane. In comparison to more traditional materials, polyurethane root crop rollers offer:

  • Less Bruising: Because of their flexibility and softness, polyurethane root crop rollers are less likely to bruise or damage your produce. This point holds true regardless of if you go with the rougher acorn rollers or more rounded finger rollers.
  • They’re Food-Safe: The FDA has approved polyurethane rollers for use in agricultural and produce processing. Unlike rubber and plastic, polyurethane will not leave material traces on potatoes, beets, and carrots. This makes for less manual labor down the road.
  • Improved Durability: The average rubber roller lasts about 1000 hours. An equivalent polyurethane roller can last about four times that. This means less downtime, fewer replacements, and a boost to your bottom line.
  • They Play Nice with Liquids: Unlike metal rollers, which can rust, polyurethane ones aren’t prone to water damage. This is important when you’re working with mud, irrigators, and wet crops.
  • Polyurethane Root Crop Rollers Cost Less: Because of how easy they are to manufacture, polyurethane finger or acorn rollers save you money on material costs. To get a quote and see how much you can save, reach out to us using the number on top of our website.

When you put all these things together, it should be apparent that your SSTs need a polyurethane upgrade. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

Ready to Make the Switch to Polyurethane?

Whether you need a big order of acorn rollers or just a few finger rollers, the polyurethane experts at Poly-Tek are here for you. To learn more about how we can help your agricultural company reach new heights, reach out to us at 1(1510)895-6001.