Polyurethane rollers


Does anybody use polyurethane rollers?
I’ve bought such new rollers from http://ellievans.myshopify.com/ for my Adana 8X5. But I don’t satisfied print quality. The edges of print are not sharp. I try a lot of variants of roller height and amount of ink (i use Van Son rubber base), but can’t make a really clean impression with crisp edges. Is it possible the problem is in this rollers? Does anybody use such rollers?
Thank for help!

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I use those rollers with rubber based VanSon. It sounds almost certainly like you need to make sure your rollers are at type height. You need a roller gauge to measure this.

If you haven’t got one then you can make one yourself (courtesy of Alan Brignull) with a lolly stick and two Euro coins:


And then start with a minimum amount of ink and add more until you have got it right.

I’ve been using the polyurethane rollers from Ellievans for several years without having any inking problems, but I taped my rails to achieve the correct height. If you don’t take care of that, your rollers are probably hitting the type…

Polyurethane rollers!!!!!!! Wow! The major draw-back to polyurethane rollers in the past has been that you walk into your shop one day after you have been using them for years only to discover that they have literally melted all over your press. The gunk created is almost impossible to clean off and remove!!!! I have even tried to set it on fire and burn it off but it still leaves a sticky residual. If you have ever had this happen to you, you will never use them again. Most people in the U.S. are advised to get rid of their polyurethane rollers and replace them with rubber or composition - if they acquire a press that has them on it.

I have always been baffled as to why they suddenly dissolve. I don’t know if it is an age, chemical breaking-down, temperature/humidity factor or a combination of both. Maybe the formulations have changed, but the rule of thumb here is to get rid of them.

It will be interesting to hear others chime in on this matter.


I’ve also used polyurethane rollers from Ellievans on my 8x5s with no problems. They take ink (linseed based) very nicely and give good coverage. If you have duplex trucks on your press you might like to try the largest diameter side first.
All roller coverings are inherently chemically unstable, whether it be compo, poly or rubber, and they all revert in time to a mess. Granted that poly rollers usually do this before rubber ones, but you usually get some warning first, unlike with compo. Simple solution is not to store poly or compo rollers on your press, keep then cool and dark and they should last for several years.

Foolproof – have a read of the manufacturer’s FAQ page. Modern polyurethane rollers are more stable:

I’ll have to buy some orthopedic shoes so I can stand corrected. The stuff on the FAQ page sounds good.

The polyurethane that I had my problems with was a blue-green material. You wouldn’t have known that to see the rollers (I bought the press used and they were black), but when they melted that was the color of the mess.


had a set of them myself, boy that goo is hard to remove.

All my test show nothing can beat rubber for letterpress, adding grinding makes them perfectly round and gives a great texture for carrying a even coat of ink, It is a balance between your skills and the quality of equipment you are using. I say let the kids have the gummy bears.

Sorry to have to tell you that it will be the rollers and this is a familiar story with polyurethane for various reasons. However we, the Adana Company have been manufacturting and supplying High Definition Rubber Rollers for all models of our machines for years now and they are readily available from stock. They not only last a very long time, they will not melt and will give you a perfect printed result. We also offer technical back-up! www.adanaprintingmachines.co.uk