Each of the roller mills is equipped with a pair of rolls, usually 10” (25.4 cm) in diameter and up to 40” (101.6cm) long, mounted diagonally in parallel alignment along their whole length. The narrow gap or “nip” between the aligned rolls can be adjusted to allow precision grinding. The rolls rotate in opposite directions so that the surface of both rolls are entering the nip in the same direction. One of the rolls rotates at a faster speed than the other, the speed differential between the two generally being 2.5: 1 for break roller mills and 1.25:1 for polish roller mills. The rolls are corrugated or grooved over their entire surfaces, the corrugations (flutes) running along the length of the rolls, but disposed at a slight angle to their axes, this angle is known as the “Spiral”.
The effect of the speed differential between the two rolls and the flutes of the fast roll to move across those of the slow roll at the point of contract, simulating the action of scissors.
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