Metal rolling essentially comprise passing a metal sheet or strip between a pair of rollers. Metal could be rolled for one or more of the following reasons:
- To boost the strength and hardness of the metal
- To make the metal less ductile
- To give it a smooth, well-finished surface
Whereas hot rolling is typically intended to change the dimensions of the metal, the cold rolling process doesn't change the wall thickness of the metal. Cold rolled steel or metal is less prone to undesirable effects such as cracking, as cold rolling actually work-hardens the steel. This process is relatively less time-consuming as metal can be rolled to the desired end in a single pass.
What are the uses of cold metal rolling?
Cold rolled metal is typically used in the creation of rolled cylinders, tubes, and pipes. These components are then used in industrial or manufacturing applications either as is, or in a modified format. For instance, a rolled cylinder might be grooved and flanged for operational efficiency. Seam welding could be simultaneously applied to a component during the cold rolling process.
The material thicknesses in this rolling process range from 0.018" to 0.250", and the tightest tolerance could be +/-.010". You could expect your metal forming company to work with parts that have a product length and diameter of 72" each, using metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, steel, copper, and brass. Once rolled, the material can also be finished in the desired fashion. Most commonly applied finishes include the 2B finish and the 4 brush finish.
Cold metal rolling is a process that is versatile in its functioning. It is suitable for volumes as varied as a single piece to 50,000 pieces. However, better economies can be achieved with large volume orders. When placing an order for cold rolled components, it is important to partner with a firm that meets the ASME and AWS standards.
There are various methods of cold metal rolling that can be applied by your chosen metalworking company. These include:
- Ring Rolling
- Roll Bending
- Roll Forming
- Profile Rolling
- Controlled Rolling
The choice of each rolling method would primarily depend on the work-hardness to be achieved, the end application of the component, and cost considerations. It is advisable to consult your metal fabrication and forming services provider for accurate information about a rolling process that's best suited to your needs. Besides cold rolling, there are several other metal forming processes such as deep drawing. When you need seamless cylindrical components, deep drawing is a recommended process.
Components manufactured using the metal rolling process can be used in industries such as automotive, construction, machinery manufacture, HVAC and electrical connections, and so on.