Cold roll forming is a type of forming process which is performed at room temperature to reshape metal work pieces. During a cold roll forming process, the work piece will have to pass a series of rolls (or rollers) to be bent, curved, flattened, folded or straightened by a cold roll forming machine. A cold roll forming machine can be a console style automated machine that is included in a mass production line, or it can be a bench style manually operated device used for small quantity customized manufacturing process. Either way, the key elements toward a cold roll forming process are pressure and time; heat is not included in this type of metal forging process.
Cold forming is essentially the metal forging process that is conducted at room temperature. The goal of cold forming is to turn the original shape, length, and size of metal sheet and metal piping into another by means of folding, bending, rolling, or shearing. The cold forming process is generally for both ferrous and non-ferrous metal work pieces; yet, the metal has to be malleable and flexible so that it does not crack or fracture during the forming process.
Besides the cold forming for metal sheet, coil or piping which requires the cold roll forming machine, there is also cold forming processes that involves a press machine and dies. In this form of cold forging, the metal work piece is placed into the die of a press machine. When the press machine compresses the work piece with certain amount of force, the work piece is deformed in accordance with the shape of the die. This type of metal forming is used primarily in manufacturing components or parts for assembly.
Roll forming is a line that is comprised of four fundamental stations: the entry section, the roll forming station, the cutting station, and the exit station. The entry section refers to the process which the metal materials are loaded and fed into the roll forming machine. In the entry section, the metal material is usually set up as metal coils. To feed the material into the roll forming station, it will be uncoiled and leveled.
During the roll forming station, the material goes through a series of rolls. When the material passes through the rolls, it is deformed and reshaped. The rolls serve as the shaping component as well as the driving force of the process. After the material is formed, it will be dissected into a predetermined length by a cutter. After the cutting station, the manufactured parts will be sent to the exit station for collection.
The cold roll forming machines come in with a wide variety for multiple applications. A bench style cold roll forming machine can be referred to as a tube rolling machine or a bar straightening machine. A tube rolling machine is used to curve a section of straight metal pipe. On the other hand, a bar straightening machine is used to straighten a piece of metal bar. These types of cold roll forming machines are typically manually operated, but they can be automated as well.
The console style cold roll forming machines are the automated machines that are used primarily for processing sheet metals. For instance, a door frame roll forming machine is used to fold a piece of flat metal sheet to create metal tubes with particular cross section configurations. There is also the corrugated roll forming machine that is used to manufacture corrugated steel. These types of cold roll forming machine have to work with other machines such as hydraulic press or cutting machine in order to produce the end products.
A cold roll forming process as well as other types of cold metal forming processes is flexible and versatile. The work pieces can be reshaped into various forms to meet the needs of its application. The process is time effective and therefore it is applicable for mass production purposes. Since the process does not require heat treatment, the properties and characteristics of the metal work piece sustain; no thermal damage will be done onto the products. Last but not least, the cold roll forming process is generally for all types of metal work pieces whether it is ferrous or non-ferrous, coated or not. Due to all these advantages, this metal forging process is widely implemented in modern manufacturing industry.
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