Steel Plate Rolling: The Difference Between Using Plate Roll and Press Brake

14 January 2020

Steel plates play a pivotal role in varying construction projects, equipment assembly, and other purposes. They comprise whatever tool and equipment you are using. They are also a part of every construction and landscaping projects. The reason behind the versatility and many applications of sheet metals relies on their durability and their ability to be crafted into numerous finish products.

One process that steel plates undergo is their fabrication. For steel plates, they can be rolled on by numerous tools, such as plate rolls and press brakes. These two machines are commonly used for steel plate rolling by different manufacturing companies. Even if they share a common purpose and functionality, they still have their differences that can be suitable for various conditions.

How do Plate Roll and Press Brake Work?

Plate rolls transform flat sheet metal and steel plates into cylindrical or radius parts. They can even form a complete cylinder out of steel plates within the radius specifications of the machine. This type of machine is meant to produce large-diameter cylinders. With the help of side and top supports, plate rolls can ultimately prevent the steel plate and other materials from collapsing during the rolling process.

Press brakes, on the other hand, are more versatile than plate rolls. They can produce simple cylinders or complex shapes out of steel plates and sheet metals. The material involved is pressed into a matching concave die by a radius punch on the ram. This creates the desired radius and arc length of the cylinder. This material is then advanced and pressed until the curve is done and complete. Aside from cylinders, press brakes can form sharp, 90-degree bends and other possible angles.

What are the Differences between the Two?

If you have to create and roll large quantities of cylinders, then a plate roll is the perfect tool for you. A plate roll can also accommodate certain cone geometries and can be fitted with conical-shaped rollers. To adjust tension on the rolls, plate rolls nowadays can be equipped with dynamic crowning systems. Too little tension can result in a canoe-shaped part, while too much tension can otherwise result in an hourglass shape.

Plate rolls have their limitations. Steel plates that have very thick walls and small diameters will not work on plate rolls. The part diameter also prohibits the use of a top roll that is large enough to handle the pressures required. Deflection will be evident along the length of the top roll.

Alternatively, press brakes are more effective in bending and rolling diverse applications of steel plates. Different kinds of bends and varieties of parts can take advantage of the capabilities of press brakes. These press brakes can also form cylinders out of materials with varying levels of thickness. However, press brakes may not form a 360-degree cylinder because of obstructions from frame and tooling. What press brakes do with cylinders of large radii is that they form the parts in sections and then weld them together.

Both plate rolls and press brakes can be helpful in their own ways. If you want to produce a lot of cylinders in a day, then a plate roll is the perfect tool for you. Press brakes, on the other hand, are most suitable for you if you will be forming diverse types of steel plates. Do you want to know more about these two steel plating rolling options? Then don’t hesitate to call us here at Sharp Welding and Crane Hire.

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