Guide rollers are used in the process of manufacturing metal wire. Since the wire travels at high speeds, high levels of tension act on the guide rollers and wear down their surface. As a result, there was a need to replace components frequently. Therefore, this requires that guide rollers have a high degree of hardness as well as have a smooth surface.
Metal components had conventionally been used in guide rollers. However, since their surface tends to wear through contact with the metal wire, surface roughness would worsen. This surface roughness on the guide rollers would then scratch the metal wire when coming in contact, thus affecting product quality.
By switching to ceramics, which are harder than metals, there was less occurrence of scratching as a result of guide roller surface wear. This resulted in less scratching from contact between the metal wire and guide rollers, contributing to higher quality production.
Furthermore, with improved wear resistance, rollers required less frequent replacement, alleviating maintenance work.
Now the most commonly used material is zirconia, ZTA, 99% alumina.