Metal Forming and Plate Rolling: What is it all about?

31 October 2016

Edge-based fabrication work deftly connects straight sections of structurally graded steel to form strong building frames. It’s tough work, but an industrious team of welders and a capable crane make short work of the task. Metal forming and plate rolling facilities endorse this linear architectural model, but they also beef up the straight line approach by adding curves to the mix. When done right, cylindrical columns, curved metal panels, and rounded edges are just a plate rolled operation away, so what’s it all about, this rolling machinery?

Roll The Plating Details!

At its heart, a plate rolling machine is responsible for a handful of duties, but those duties are very efficiently executed. The machinery is formed from a long base, on which is mounted several powerful rolls. The assembly is hardened and then energized by hydraulic force. Mild steel sheets then enter the feed side as flat panels. They’re repeatedly passed through the rollers, shaped until one edge curves around to touch the opposite end of the sheet. In effect, the in-and-out process cycles repeatedly until the flat metal is compelled to assume a cylindrical outline.

Incorporating the Full Might of Metal Forming

On its own, the rolling machinery creates fairly thick-walled steel cylinders. They’re ideal as curvilinear frame pieces, but they’re also a transformable asset. And, like any other asset, they can be further machined into new and useful shapes. For example, the metal sheets can be inserted with a slight angular offset to create decorative cone shapes. They can also be cut and deburred after the rolling process to make semi-cylinders. Imagine a cut along one axis splitting the cylinder in twain while a ninety-degree switch drives the incision through the tube several times to produce reduced version of the cylinder, all of which exhibit the same diameter. Finally, the three-part rolling mechanism can stop short. The cylindrical profile hasn’t been achieved, but curved panels have been produced. These soft-edged structural components break up the hard lines of an angular frame and imbue the project with refined edges.

Metal forming and plate rolling techniques pair naturally to produce accomplished parts. They’re passed through a hydraulically-powered set of hardened rollers many times, back and forward, to carefully but inexorably force the sheet steel panel to assume a specified radius. Once properly concluded, the curvy components are used in the structural steel fabrication industry as framework cylinders. Alternatively, they’re cut and formed into curving panels and shorter tubes, and perhaps into axially cut semi-cylinders.

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