Sheeting Battery is a machinery used during the process to produce rubber sheets from latex. This processing machinery is introduced at a stage after coagulation of latex.
The coagulated latex is processed between a pair of rolls, which are either grooved (corrugated) or smooth (plain). Hence, they are like two-roll mixing mills used in the rubber processing. In fact just visualize many miniature mixing mill rolls working in tandem fixed on a common frame to produce a sheet.
In its simplest form, the Sheeting Battery could be a mechanical chain-driven type. Or a compact motor-driven automatic-sheeter in the upgraded version. The customer’s selection depend on the operating conditions at his rubber plantation.
In an automatic-sheeter, the first few set of rolls have smooth (or longitudinally grooved surface to grip the wet slabs better). The nips between the rolls are so designed to narrow on each successive pair of rolls. This is to reduce the thickness of the coagulated slab of rubber passed through them. Rubber sheets thus processed are of uniform thickness and enhances the quality of dry sheets later on. The weight of each rubber sheet is around 550g while it can go up to 1.2Kg in wider-roll sheeting battery with higher power.
Fresh water is sprayed on each set of rolls on the sheeting battery to prevent them from drying and avoid tearing the sheets. Fresh water also washes away the acidic serum in the coagulated latex as much as possible.
The last mill rolls perform the finishing operations. These rolls have diamond-shaped indentations or grooves that impart the characteristic ‘ribbing’ to the sheet produced. Ribbed Smoked Sheets (or RSS) evolve after the smoking process is completed of the dried rubber sheets from this machinery.
Rubber sheeting using this machine saves labour and time. For example, a single operator (or labour) produce 350-750 sheets per hour, depending on the machinery selected, with minimal efforts and training.
Few manufacturers based in Kerala, Southern part of India, manufacture Rubber Sheeting Battery for domestic and international markets.
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