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Types of Rollers Used for Soil Compaction

What are the different types of rollers that are used in soil compaction?

  1. Grid rollers
  2. Sheepsfoot rollers
  3. Vibratory rollers
  4. Cylindrical rollers

 

A road roller is a kind of heavy construction equipment that is mainly utilized in the compaction of soil, or other materials like asphalt, gravel, and concrete. These are more widely known as machines used in leveling asphalt, especially in road developments. However, there are many different types of rollers for soil compaction and each of them largely differs in the design, required attachments, features, and shape of the wheel. Continue reading to learn more.

 

Grid rollers

The distinct feature about the grid roller is that its wheels appear to be a framework of steel bars that form a grid-like pattern on the surface of the wheel. The wheels of this kind of roller can be further reinforced with concrete in order to provide stability to the entire machine.

The use of steel material defines the capabilities of this road roller type. After all, steel is one of the most durable materials. Many metal fabrication and heating techniques can harden the steel and make them extremely resistant to alterations in its physical structure. As such, grid rollers are used for crushing soil material which is coarser in size. Running at speeds that may range from 5 to 24 km/h, the grid roller can easily compact a layer of coarse material in one go.

 

Sheepsfoot rollers

Based on the name alone, a sheepsfoot roller is simply a roller that has sheep-like hooves that are evenly placed on the surface of the wheel. These “sheepsfoot” shapes jut out from the shape of the wheel and provide a high-pressure and high-impact force on materials that it tramples on.

Unlike the grid roller, sheepsfoot rollers are usually applied on high-clay soil, as well as other kinds of fine-grained and cohesive soil types. Compared to granular soil, cohesive soil doesn’t tend to break up and stick together when wet. This makes the roller the right type of machine for the job as it is able to remove pores of air from the soil in order to densify the material.

Also known as padfoot or tamping rollers, sheepsfoot can be mainly found in construction sites that involve dam compaction, pavement work, as well as road reconstruction.

 

Vibratory rollers

Vibratory rollers

Wheels that are found across vibratory rollers are smoother in appearance. In this regard, they may appear to be similar to the different types of smooth-wheeled rollers that you will encounter on this list, but the vibratory rollers are distinctive from the other machine.

Vibratory rollers while exhibiting the typical functions of a normal roller, include a vibratory function. Modern types of vibratory rollers may either include a double-drum or a single-drum that are booth smooth on the surface — or it may also make use of other wheel types that are intended for crushing and compacting of other soil materials.

The dynamic vibratory produced by these roller types are produced by the rotation motion that is found within the machine’s eccentric shaft that is connected to vertical supports. They’re mainly used to level the surface of fissured or granular soil, and even in road asphalting.

 

Cylindrical rollers

Typically, cylindrical rollers don’t really belong to the definition of heavy machinery because they’re compact and more lightweight compared to the other types of rollers.

Road rollers are mainly used in a broad range of large-scale and comparatively smaller scale construction projects. On the other hand, the shape and appearance of cylindrical rollers make them the most suitable for private, or residential landscaping work and are usually operated by a single individual. These simple machines appear similar to lawnmowers, except without the trimming function.

 

Key Takeaway

The types of rollers for soil compaction that you’ve encountered, include vibratory, sheepsfoot, cylindrical, and grid rollers.

Before you make a decision to buy either one of these road rollers, you need to have a clear grasp of their functions. Identify whether the machine is built for fine-grained or coarse-grained soil. This helps you find a machine that is optimal for the job and will create a consistent soil compaction function or road surface.

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