I have referred to the plastics being used in a couple of articles I have written. This subject is so important that I have decided to write an article that addresses this area exclusively.
There are several plastics on the market today. The one most machines are using is a plastic called UHMW. This is a plastic that has been used for years and does a fairly good job during the bat rolling process. Most manufacturers like the cost of this product and simply are not willing to put out the expense to go beyond the qualities of this product.
This is a good choice but is a slick and slippage can be a problem. Adding texture to the rollers helps eliminate the slippage problem with this material. I only know of one company that machines and textures this plastic.
At least one bat rolling manufacturer is using this plastic and referring to it as nylon. Since it looks like nylon, your average consumer will never know the difference.
Another plastic that is being used in bat rolling machines is Acetal. This particular plastic is very, very hard. It does roll bats well as far as compression, but this plastic has some major drawbacks. It is also referred to as Delrin, which is actually the trade mark name. Acetal and Delrin are two different names for the same plastic.
Delrin – Acetal has some phenomenal qualities which work great in industry, but not so good in bat rollers, or bat rolling machines. The plastic rollers will last forever… but you are in danger of bat damage. Unless you are a professional roller who has rolled hundreds of bats… I would stay away from any machines that are using this product. This product is just too hard to make a good choice. There is no forgiveness. Also it too is very slick and unless textured, you can expect slippage problems with the harder and stiffer bats.
There is a third plastic which is now showing up on the market and it is being marketed as a proprietary plastic. The qualities being mentioned with this plastic are that it not too hard, has recall memory, and solves the slippage problem. Since the plastic being used in this machine is not being mentioned because of proprietary reasons, I can not include the exact type of this plastic. What I can say is that these are the qualities that should be looked for when purchasing a high-end Bat Rolling Machine.
The most important thing is that you choose a machine that rolls bats well but also grips and has forgiving qualities too it. I am not suggestion that rolling is difficult or even rocket science. What I am saying is that it is important to do your homework so you are able to choose your Bat Rolling Machine and Company from an educated and enlightened position.
1. Too hard of a plastic has zero tolerance for forgiveness
2. Too slick of a plastic will result in bat slippage on stiff and some new bats.
3. Do your homework and choose a machine that serves you needs and experience.
By following this outline you will be able to choose the right machine for you and will have years of happy rolling. There truly are some great Bat Rolling Machines on the market today.