What Is Roll Forming?

What Is Roll Forming?

Roll forming is a continuous bending operation in which a long strip of metal (typically coiled steel) is passed through consecutive sets of rolls, or stands, each performing only an incremental part of the bend, until the desired cross-section profile is obtained. Roll forming is ideal for producing parts with long lengths or in large quantities.

Examples of roll formed products include:

bicycle rims, fenders, precipitator panels, door frames, auto trim, fence posts, auto bumpers, step-beam members, and even flux core rod.

Roll Forming Facts

  • Generally, it takes about 75,000 pieces of a given part per year to justify a roll former. However, some applications can be justified with as little as 3,000 pieces of a particular part per year.
  • Roll forming typically produces a more consistent part than other forming methods.
  • Since roll formers usually run from coiled material, product lengths are limited only by the amount of material in the coil. Furthermore, product lengths can be easily changed on-the-fly.
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as cold or hot rolled carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, HSLA steel, and even titanium or special alloys can be roll formed.
  • Pre-painted, galvanized, vinyl clad, and plastic enclosed metals can also be roll formed. By doing so, secondary coating operations can be eliminated.
  • Locating holes, “knock-outs”, and notches can all be punched in the parts in-line before the finished parts are cut to length.

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