4 Areas of Investigation Prior to Selecting Plate Rollers

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Today’s modern plate rollers have a tremendous amount of technology wrapped up in them. Those that are not familiar with how plate or sheet metals are rolled will have a lot of homework to do to get up to speed to be able to make an informed decision on the size and type of plate rolling machinery to purchase. Areas that need investigation, even for the well informed, will include looking at the following

Knowing the yield strength of the materials that you want to bend is the first critical piece of information that is needed. In addition, you will want to review the various thicknesses of the material, the length of material that you want to bend, and the finished diameters that you want to produce.

Review various plate rolling machinery styles (especially their capacities) to make sure that the equipment is powerful enough to bend your most demanding overall application.

The machines “static” and “dynamic” capabilities

The acceptable portion of the bend that can remain as an “unbent flat”

Plate rolling machinery that cannot create enough force to exceed the materials yield strength will simply not be able to get the job done. This is why a thorough review of all of the materials that you want to be able to bend is a critical factor.

The type of plate rolling machinery that you select makes a difference as well. Knowing the capabilities of the following type of equipment is important

3 Roll Initial Pinch 3 Roll Double Pinch 4 Roll Double Pinch 3 Roll Variable with Translating Geometry 3 Roll Pyramid 2 Roll Vertical Rolls

Generally speaking, 4 Roll Double Pinch plate rollers are often designed for heavier duty processing than their 3 Roll Initial Pinch counterparts. The bending process in 3 Roll Initial Pinch plate rollers begins when the flat material is “pinched” between two rollers while a third roller or “bending roller” contacts the sheet and applies pressure. The rollers are then activated and this rolling process will bend the material to a given radius.

In 4 Roll Double Pinch plate rollers an extra roller is used that constantly pinches the material during the rolling process. 4 Roll machines as a general rule do not require pre-bending the material before processing. Also offering shorter overall material processing times, 4 Roll machines have a slight advantage in this department as well.

The static pressures that occur when the material is pinched to form the leading edge of the bend is a critical factor as plate rolling machinery will always bend thicker material in the dynamic mode than it will it the static mode.

An unavoidable part of the “pinching” step is that it will unfortunately leave a section of the sheet or plate material as an “unbent flat.” Determining how much of an “unbent flat” is acceptable is an important consideration as well. The following considerations are paramount to making an informed decision

The thickness of the sheet or plate being rolled The width of the sheet or plate The cylinder diameter required in the finished rolled size Machine geometry The size of the top roll

Sheet or plate widths The finished rolled cylinder diameter required Machine geometry The size of the top roll The experience and skill levels of the machine operator

The above is just a thumb-nail sketch of some of the primary concerns that one should start looking into before making a significant investment in capital intensive plate rolling machinery. Fortunately most plate rolling machinery makers have highly capable technicians and sales people that can assist you in making your decision. It is important to know going into this process of determining the right size and type of plate rolling machinery needed that you get familiar with some of the important questions to ask and have a few of the details at your disposal to help them to help you

Roberto Leoni is the Owner of Heli Engineering, a Press Brake Manufacturer situated in Boksburg, South Africa. For more info regarding Plate Bending Machinery please visit our website or alternatively contact us on +27 11 397 3650/7

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