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Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 1

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls

David R. Roisum, Ph.D.
Finishing Technologies, Inc.
Neenah, WI 54956


Many web products, such as tape and labels, are coated with an adhesive. Rolls of these materials might be
wound with straight edges, but later during storage these rolls may telescope sideways for no apparent
reason. These rolls may also be prone to going egg-shaped when core supported or forming flat spots when
supported on the bilge.

As we will see, the common ingredient in all of these roll defects is adhesive shear. As such, we will
hereafter view certain adhesives as a grease rather than as a glue. PSAs, or Pressure Sensitive
Adhesives, are certainly prone to this behavior. However, any adhesive that does not cure to a true solid
could also be problematic. While these adhesives may in the short term hold the roll together, in the long
term they lubricate the layers and thus free the wound roll to move.

As is expected of many winding problems, these defects might be reduced by attention to winding tension
and taper. Other solutions, perhaps even more powerful, include design of the coating, wound roll, roll
packaging and roll storage. Finally, attention to a level gage and tension profile across the width can
minimize the forces that drive telescoping.


Wind, Roll, Dish, Telescope, PSA, Adhesive, Shear, Coating, Defect, Roll_Storage, Product_Design


Many web products, such as tape and labels, are coated with an adhesive. A common class of adhesives for
such products are called PSAs or Pressure Sensitive Adhesives. These adhesives have conflicting design
requirements. In order to use them, you must be able to peel the layers from the unwinding roll. However,
in final application you may want the product to stick aggressively enough so that it cant be removed from
the mating surface. Examples include price stickers and warning labels. The adhesive may need to be
tacky or at least not brittle at low temperatures while at the same time having an adequately high shear
strength at high temperatures. This design challenge is analogous to multi-viscosity oils that seemingly
defy nature by being more fluid at low temperatures and less fluid at high temperatures than would
otherwise be expected. The design challenges are not limited to final product characteristics. The adhesive
must have viscosities that are compatible with one or more of the commercial web coating methods. It can
be difficult to coat with high shear adhesives, especially at low coat weights and/or high speeds.

These web products are often wound into master rolls after adhesive coating. The master rolls are then
stored for minutes to months before the next operation that may be coating, laminating, printing or slitting.
Finally, the master rolls are cut into smaller final product rolls. The master rolls could weigh several tons
while the final product rolls, such as a roll of masking tape, may be small enough to fit in your hand. The
problem is that the wound rolls can misbehave, even while merely sitting in storage (1).

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 2

Winding a roll that has straight edges can be a challenge in its own right. Certainly the web needs to have
an adequately level tension profile else bagginess can cause tracking problems. Certainly the web needs to
have an adequately level gage profile else the roll may telescope to the heavy side while winding.
Similarly, the winder must be aligned, mechanically tight and stout enough to avoid excessive deflection.
The roll must wind without excessive vibration. Tension and nip must be set appropriately and tightly
controlled. These and many other factors must be tended to in order to make straight-edged rolls.

However, merely making a roll with straight edges does not mean that it will stay that way. We are all
familiar with the roll of adhesive tape that may have had straight edges for months. Take that roll and put it
in the back window of a car parked in the sun. It may not take many minutes for the previously well
behaved roll to shoot out sideways. This defect is given names such as coning, plating, telescoping and
others that are not printable here. While not all adhesive rolls do this, they all have the tendency to do this.

Related problems are common with master rolls, especially if they are large. If a large roll is core
supported on racks, the roll may go egg-shaped. If you support it on the bilge, the roll may slowly develop
a flat spot. Rolls that lose their roundness are difficult to unwind at high speed. The loping runout causes
tension fluctuations that can upset delicate processes like printing registration, but may even trouble normal
web handling.


To diagnose the movement of the roll, we must answer two questions. First, what forces were present that
drove the movement of the roll? Roll movement could be reduced by reducing those forces. Second, what
allowed movement of the roll? Roll movement could be reduced by reducing the freedom of the roll to

One force that is always present in a wound roll is interlayer pressure. This pressure is caused in part by
wound-in-tension which in turn is caused by the TNTs of winding, namely, Tension, Nip and Torque.
However, the interlayer pressure is determined even more strongly by material properties such as MD and
stack modulus (2). Not only is this interlayer pressure inevitable, it is desirable for most products. The
mechanism that holds wound rolls together is friction between the layers. If the friction is insufficient, the
roll may go out of shape in a variety of ways. This friction is a byproduct of both the interlayer pressure
and the web-web coefficient of friction.

Ironically, the pressure that holds a roll together be at the same time destabilizing. As shown in Figure 1,
the pressure from the outer part of the roll compresses the inner portion. This is analogous to axial
compression of a yardstick. If the force is high enough or the yardstick slender enough, the stick will
buckle sideways. The roll analogy is an axial or sideways telescoping movement. Not surprisingly, we
will find that the tighter you wind the outer layers of the roll, the more likely the roll will telescope. Thus,
winding at low tensions or at least finishing at a low tension through aggressive taper would be one strategy
to combat this type of telescoping. It is the force of winding that supplies the energy to drive the roll
sideways. However, product design is also contributing. The higher the aspect ratio, which is roll diameter
divided by roll width, the greater the risk.

We also know from buckling theory that any eccentricity of the column in compression will reduce its
ability to withstand buckling. In other words, a warped or crooked yardstick can carry less load. There are
two analogies in the wound roll. The first is a roll that does not have straight edges. The second is a roll
whose pressure profile is not level due to an asymmetric gage profile problem. As seen in Figure 2, the
overhung pressure creates a bending moment that pushes the roll further away from the overhang. The
movement of an initially (nearly) straight roll will progress as seen in Figure 3. At first, the movement is
slow because eccentricity or lack of roll edge straightness is low. However, as the roll center pushes
outward, the bending moment gathers strength that exaggerates the thrust force. Finally, the movement
slows as the roll pushes sideways enough to relieve much of its stored energy.

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 3
To determine whether poor initial straightness contributes can be simple. If the roll is wound with a dished
edge, the risk of telescoping in storage is increased. If the cores edge does not extend to the rolls edge,
the risk is also increased. To determine whether gage profiles contributes is usually simple. If the roll
moves toward the harder/larger side of the roll as measured by gage, hardness or diameter, then profile is
likely involved. On many machines, the caliper or gage tends to have a smile or frown profile. If so, the
end rolls will be more troubled by dishing during winding and telescoping during storage.


It is hard to avoid gravity, yet this is the driving force that causes rolls to get out-of-round during storage.
As seen in Figure 4, the roll will sag into an egg shape with core support storage. To reduce the force, we
would need to reduce the diameter of the roll. To spread the force out over a wider area, we might increase
the core diameter. As seen in Figure 5, the roll will develop a flat spot when stored on its bilge. To reduce
the force, we would again need to reduce the diameter of the roll. To spread the force out over a wider
area, we could support the roll on a sling. In fact, the sling is simple to make and is usually the gentlest
form of roll storage.

An unusual storage alternative is to continuously rotate the wound roll at a frequency fast enough keep a set
from developing. This might less frequent than a rotation per day in more robust products to a more
frequently than a rotation per hour in less stable products. Some products, however, can not be rotated in
one or possibly both directions without causing the very problem it was trying to treat, namely, telescoping.
The effect of time on egg-shaped rolls is a little different than with telescoping. While the tendency is also
a progression with time, the severity of this defect is often proportional to log time.

Recall that in the case of winding pressure-induced telescoping, we would like to reduce tensions so that
driving forces are minimized. Curiously, in the case of egg-shaped and flat-tire rolls, we usually want to
increase tension. In this case, interlayer pressure is helpful to keep the layers from shifting minutely.


The flip side of the storage telescope equation is movement. We will first look at the gross or large scale
movements of the wound roll. In the case of an ideal storage telescope, the edge of the roll is bowl-shaped
and smooth as seen in Figure 6. Any abrupt change in roll shape here might indicate an abrupt change in
product or winding conditions.

Contrast ideal storage telescope above to the ideal winding telescope as seen in Figure 7. Here, the roll has
three regions (3). These are the slippage area just above the core, a straight intermediate section and a
curved outer portion. The roll edge looks like a volcano with a cauldera and central cone. The boundary
between the inner curved area and the straight section is the size the core should have been for those
conditions. The boundary between the upper end of the straight section and bottom of the curved section is
the maximum safe winding diameter for those conditions. Winding after that point is occurring above a
roll which is sliding out at the core. Diagnosing an unwind telescope is similar except that the outer curved
lip is not present. The unwinding telescope is trumpet-shaped near the core.


A roll which changes shape does so because layers are slipping and sliding on each other. The layers may
slide during winding, storage or unwinding. Strictly speaking, the common defects that result are termed
dishing, plating and telescoping respectively (4). Some people have trouble accepting the fact that the
layers slid, perhaps because they are visualizing sliding like locking up the tires on a car. However, it takes
very little layer-to-layer movement to cause large telescopes.

We can easily calculate the results of micro-slippage as follows. Let us assume a mere 1 mil (0.001 or 25
microns) of movement of one layer upon the next. If the web were 2 mils thick, representing thick film or
thin paper, there would be 500 layers in a one inch stack of material. The total movement of that inch of

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 4
material would be 500 x 0.001 or (12 mm). While the movement per layer is quite small, the
accumulated effect is a large dish or telescope. If you looked quite close, you can sometimes observe this
micro-slippage on rolls with cleanly slit edges. The roll edge has a stair-step appearance. Also, you may
uncover adhesive so that the roll edge feels tacky or greasy, as the case may be.

Another reason that people have difficulty accepting the notion of slippage is that certain materials that
telescope appear to have high interlayer friction. Tissue, for example, is quite prone to interlayer slippage
under a rolling nip, even though the web-web coefficient of friction is around 1.0. The nip in this case may
be at the inside of the roll due to supporting the weight of the roll at the core or at the outside of the roll
caused by a layon roller or drum. In any case, the layers in bulky materials such as tissue, nonwovens and
textiles do tend to slide. All one needs to do is draw a radial line on the edge of the roll. After further
winding or unwinding, the line will shift into a J-shape (5). The radial line technique is one of the most
powerful tools to diagnose telescoping during winding or unwinding. Similarly, intuition can be a barrier
to accepting that adhesives also slip. However, as will be shown next, most adhesives behave more like
grease than glue.


Shear is a pair of parallel but opposite forces as shown in Figure 8. Liquids cannot sustain shear stresses
indefinitely. When shear is applied, sideways movement will result. The speed of movement depends on
the shear stress, the dynamic viscosity of the material and the thickness of the fluid layer. In fact, it is this
principle that is used to measure viscosity of fluids on certain types of instruments such as rheometers.
Briefly, the resisting torque is measured on a shaft which is spun inside a cylinder filled with the test fluid.
Another method is to measure the time it takes to empty a cup of fluid through a small hole in the bottom.
Kinematic viscosity, which shows up in many physical and engineering problems, is dynamic viscosity
divided by density.

Dynamic viscosity is measured in the metric system in units of centipoise, or cp for short. The viscosity of
water at room temperature in those units is very close to 1. The viscosity of oil might vary from less than
0.1 for a light oil suitable for a sewing machine to more than 500 for a heavy oil suitable for a gearbox.
The viscosity of glycerin, which is similar in consistency to honey, is around 2000 (6). However, tar is
stiffer than honey. Wax is stiffer still. Finally, even glass is considered by many to be liquid as evidenced
by the greater thickness of the bottom of the pane versus the top on very old cathedral windows. The
property of liquids is that eventually they will form a puddle, as they can not even sustain the shear stress
induced by their own weight. In the case of water, the puddle will happen very quickly. In the case of
candle wax, you will have to be much more patient.

One very strong factor in viscosity is temperature. In the case of water, the viscosity will drop by a factor
of 6 as temperatures increase from 0C to 100C. Some fluids are even more profoundly affected. The
viscosity of oil might drop by a factor of 100 and glycerin by a factor of 800 over a similar temperature
range. Thus, a beeswax candle may hold its shape indefinitely in freezer but may be destroyed in a single
afternoon in the hot sun.


The behavior described above is for Newtonian fluids, in other words, fluids whose resistance to movement
is proportional to the rate of movement. This describes most simple fluids composed of small molecules.
However, polymers and many other materials such as slurries, pastes and gels are more complex (7). As
seen in Figure 9, the slope of the shear stress versus shear velocity is constant and is the dynamic viscosity
for Newtonian fluid. The viscosity of pseudoplastics, such as blood and polymer solutions, decrease with
increasing velocity. In other words, the faster it moves the easier it moves. Conversely, the viscosity of
dilatant fluids increases or becomes stiffer with increasing velocity. Bingham fluids, such as toothpaste and
jelly, resist a small shear stress indefinitely, but flow easily once a threshold has been exceeded. It is
possible that PSAs and other web adhesives may have this tendency because rolls either seem to move
noticeably or not at all. Thixotropic fluids, such as soil and ketchup, flow more easily after vibration.

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 5

The influence of temperature, adhesive material and time is profound wound rolls. One client I worked
with had nearly lost his best customer because most of the rolls stored in their warehouse telescoped during
the summer months. To get useable material to the customer, we took the rolls from the suppliers
manufacturing facility directly to the customers converting plant in refrigerated trucks. This was an
interim step to buy time until we could work with product design. Simultaneously, we aggressively tapered
the winding tension to absolute minimum at the outside of the wound rolls. The robust longer term
solution, however, was working with the coating chemistry and coating machine to get higher-shear and/or
thinner coatings. In fact, this is really a case of better living through chemistry. While we might with
great effort reduce the driving pressures in the roll by a factor of 2 by reducing winding tension, the
viscosity of the adhesive can easily change by chemistry or temperature by an order of magnitude or more.


Telescoping, egg-shaped rolls and flat tire rolls have one thing in common; layers have slid on each other.
To design products that are resistant to this behavior begins with the adhesive which allowed this
movement. While limiting roll size reduces the defect incidence, efficiencies at the supplier and the
customer are both reduced. While avoiding exposing the product to high temperature works, this can be
expensive and difficult to do at all parts of the products life cycle. While leveling the product helps, most
are already making continuous efforts in that area. While packaging restraint can help, the forces
developed can be quite large. While storage design can help for eggs and flat-tires, the sling is uncommon.
While winding tension programs can help, they have limited ability to accommodate products that were not
initially designed for robustness of manufacture. All aspects of design must be considered when wound
rolls go out of shape. However, it is the adhesive that often merits the most attention because it is the
strongest factor. Indeed, it is the adhesive that makes this problem common to adhesive coated rolls where
it is almost unknown to a myriad other web products.


1. Roisum, David R. Why are my rolls telescoping during storage? Converting Magazine, Web
Works Column, October 1999.
2. Roisum, David R. The Mechanics of Winding. TAPPI PRESS, Atlanta, 1994.
3. Roisum, David R. Why do my rolls dish during winding? Converting Magazine, Web Works
Column, pp 30, November 1999.
4. Smith, R. Duane. Roll and Web Defect Terminology. TAPPI PRESS, Atlanta, 1995.
5. Roisum, David R. Nip Induced Defects of Wound Rolls. TAPPI Finishing and Converting Conf.
Proc., Chicago, pp 89-98, October 2-5, 1994.
6. Marks Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York,
7. Fluid Mechanics. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., Reading Mass, 1970.

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 6
Figure 1 Roll Pressure and Buckling

Radial Pressure
Inside Roll
Side View
Of Roll Axial
Axial Load
On Yardstick
And Buckling

Figure 2 Axial Driving Force

Center of Pressure
Center of Pressure
Center of Support
Center of Support

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 7
Figure 3 Axial Movement versus Time


Stored Energy
Nearly Exhausted


Figure 4 Egg-Shaped Rolls

Shear Shear

Figure 5 Flat Tire Rolls

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 8
Figure 6 Storage Telescope

Note: Roll edge has no
straight portion

Figure 7 Winding Telescope

Max Safe Diameter
For given conditions
(When slippage began)
Note: Outer lip is
missing on unwinding
End view showing J-line
deformation of interlayer
Front view showing how MD
slippage allows CD movement.
Min Safe Core Diameter
For given conditions
(Top of Slippage Zone)
Note: Straight Section

Figure 8 Shear Stresses and Movement

Telescoping of Adhesive Coated Wound Rolls DR Roisum January 2002 9
Figure 9 Non-Newtonian Shear




Shear Velocity
Shear Thickness