In years past, these wheels were traditionally made of steel, but in more recent years, many systems have come to rely on nylon-based wheels. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of either variety of roller.
This type of functional roller is used in both commercial and home settings. The mechanism of this type of roller is made up of a steel wheel attached to a steel shaft, allowing free movement of the wheel section. It's strong and sturdy and unlikely to break under normal circumstances.
The major advantage of steel rollers over nylon is price. Steel garage door rollers tend to come in at a little less than two-thirds of the price of a set of nylon rollers of the same size and style, whereas they are roughly the same in strength and functionality.
Disadvantages of the steel rollers are noise and vibration. Not quite as stable as the nylon rollers, they tend to produce more noise as they ride up and down the metal track of the automatic door system rails.
Steel rollers also need to be lubricated on a regular basis to make certain they're working efficiently.
Nylon is certainly a miracle substance. Originally discovered in the 1930s by DuPont Laboratories, it was intended as a replacement for silk, and is indeed still used in the making of clothing today. However, this chemical polymer turned out to be far more versatile than anyone had ever expected, and it is now used for the manufacture of all kinds of products.
The chemical nature of the compound means that it rarely requires lubrication on its moving parts causing rollers made of this substance to be efficient and trouble free. They are also stable and absorb vibrations that the steel rollers do not, making them much quieter and more energy efficient. Nylon rollers have no essential strength advantage or disadvantage over the steel rollers.
The only disadvantage to the nylon rollers is that they are more costly to buy than the steel rollers.
What to Use
Either type works well. If your garage door is exceptionally noisy in its operation, with excessive squeaking as it rolls up and down and this is a hardship for you, you may consider purchasing a set of nylon rollers for your garage door system.
Note: When purchasing new rollers for your garage door, remember that they are not a universal size and make certain that you purchase the correct roller. They can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores in most areas of the country.