Archive: Nov 2019

Why Are Soft Touch Grippers Better Than D-Style Grippers?

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 soft touch gripper chainIn the manufacturing sector, the term “grippers” refers to conveyor system components that grip parts and products that run through the production line. They facilitate a variety of conveyor system operations, including moving, elevating, and lowering parts and buffering products at the end of the line.

Soft Touch conveyor chain grippers—such as those provided by Houston Products, Inc.—serve as a highly durable and reliable gripping solution. As these rubber grippers are designed to meet the most demanding requirements of a wide range of industries, they often exceed the performance of comparable D-Style grippers.

Soft Touch Conveyor Chain Grippers: Background Info

At Houston Products, our Soft Touch conveyor chain grippers are suitable for use in a wide range of industries. The following table outlines their features and specifications:

Length ·   Standard 3 3/8 inches (to suit 1873 Tab G chain systems)

·   Custom lengths available

Hardness ·   40 Shore A

·   50 Shore A (standard)

·   60 Shore A

Temperature Range 40ºF to 240ºF
Resistance ·   1 3/16 (3 finger)

·   1 7/16 (4 finger)

Colors ·   White

·   Black

·   Red

·   Blue

·   Tan

Quantity 200 pieces/box

Some of the applications for our grippers include:

  • Bottling and canning production line systems
  • Elevators
  • Lowerators
  • Rinsers

Soft Touch Grippers vs. D-style Grippers

Soft Touch grippers are a variation of the traditional D-style grippers preferred by many manufacturers. However, they feature a number of material and design improvements that set them apart and make them better suited to meet high-level manufacturing demands.

Material Improvements of Soft Touch Grippers

Our Soft Touch grippers are made from a proprietary EPDM rubber blend that adheres to FDA standards. Generally, D-style grippers use neoprene, except in high temperature applications that call for EPDM rubber. Neoprene is an inferior rubber compound that does not provide the temperature or chemical resistance offered by EPDM rubber.
Our blend of EPDM rubber is also UV, wear, abrasion, and water-resistant. The EPDM rubber in our grippers comes in a standard hardness of 50 Shore A. Harder and softer options are available, and we can modify hardness to fit the specific needs of the customer.

Design Improvements of Soft Touch Grippers

The design variations we added to our Soft Touch grippers include indented sides. This feature allows for greater flexibility than traditional D-style grippers and broader contact with the surface area of the containers. Due to our grippers’ greater gripping capacity, flexibility, and broader contact with the container surface areas, they require far less gripping pressure, allowing them to handle thin-walled PET bottles that D-style grippers cannot.

Contact Houston Products Today for Soft Touch Grippers

Proper gripping on conveyor systems is crucial to the manufacturing industry. Soft Touch grippers provide a higher level of performance than traditional D-style grippers.

At Houston Products, Inc., we’ve manufactured high performance rubber grippers—including Soft Touch grippers—since 2008. We are leading providers of replacement and OEM grippers for a broad range of applications in a variety of industries including:

  • Bottling
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Paper products
  • Packaging


The grippers we provide accommodate side gripper chain and gripper flight-chain conveyor systems for elevators, lowerators, and rinsing machines. Our Soft Touch grippers meet FDA requirements and are available with a variety of different color, hardness, and customization options. For these grippers, our delivery times are close to instantaneous on standard stock orders with lead times of two weeks on orders that require special material and four weeks for custom profiles.

Contact Us Today or Request a Quote to learn more about our range of gripping solutions.