Roll forming machines are an integrated series of machine lines of rolling forming that involves the continuous bending action of a long strip of sheet metal materials that are de-coiled from the coil reel into an intended cross-section.
The strips of metals pass through many sets of rolls which are mounted on the consecutive stands. Each set in the roll forming machine series performs only an incremental part of the bend, and such process goes a long process until the targeted cross-section profile is achieved. Roll forming machine series is ideal for manufacturing constant profile parts with long lengths as well as large quantities of materials.
If consider the wider viewpoint, cut to length lines are often coupled with metal rolling forming machines to make the production process integrated. A cut to length line is a popular method of creating flat, rectangular blanks from larger metal coils. This method is also known as a CTL or a blanking line, and many suppliers’ cut to length machines will uncoil the larger material or master coil, straighten or flatten it, and then cut it to the required length as it moves through the metal roll forming lines.
All the stacks will eventually be placed to a bundle for convenient purposes. Because steel does not come off of a larger coil in a flat form, it needs to be stretched into flatness before the metals are put on the CTL process. Many of the cut to length line suppliers uses roller leveling technology for stretching and forming the materials, because this method increases flatness tolerance and material stability in a significant way. And the outcomes of the cut to length lines then are transferred to the roll forming lines for further roll forming processing.
There are a variety of cross section profiles of the rolls and they are subject to be produced by the roll forming process. Each profile requests a well crafted set of the roll forming tools that only conduct one step but no further. The design and development of the rolls begins with a pattern profile called the flower pattern. The flower pattern is the series of the profile for cross sections and process.
Within the section, one profile is designed for each stand of rolls. The roll contours of shapes are then derived from the profiles of the flower pattern. Due to the higher cost of the roll sets in the roll forming lines, now people use computer simulation to develop the roll designs, because as the research and development of computer science goes upgraded today, it is a much more reasonable choice compared with physical simulations of the roll forming. Computer science in the recent decades helps optimize not only the roll forming process, but also to many metal cutting route simulations, minimizing the number of stands and material stresses in the final manufacturing step.
If compared with metal extrusion lines with the similar extruded shapes, roll forming processed outcomes may have more advantages over the extruded counterparts. Regarding the weight, roll forming process makes objects lighter and thinner. With the forming process, it also help to solidify the object, making it more sturdy and strong, because those materials are hardened in a cold state rather than in a heated status in which the particle arrangement of those metal components is different.
Furthermore, since roll forming is a cold forming process, so those metal parts can be processed having paints on them since it is not a melt and extrusion process, so the paints on the objects would not be affected. Similarly, without the heating process in advance, the roll forming process can be faster in process and the energy consumption can be less compared to metal extrusion process.
Extrusion is a convenient measure only when the extrusion dies are designed for large amount of production quantity, otherwise, roll forming machine series are available to produce various kinds of shapes and profiles as well as thickness values by using the same rolls in the roll forming process, so roll forming is much more versatile compared to the extrusion die method. The confining condition of the die shapes is like a two blade sword that can be profitable in massive production model, while be inconvenient when large variety or work piece shapes are ordered. This is the reason why roll forming lines are widely applied in the market than the extrusion, and the trend of this roll forming advantages is still on the way.
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