An experimental analysis of operating conditions in cold roll-forming
A detailed literature survey confirmed cold roll-forming to be a complex and little understood process. In spite of its growing value, the process remains largely un-automated with few principles used in set-up of the rolling mill. This work concentrates on experimental investigations of operating conditions in order to gain a scientific understanding of the process. The operating conditions are; inter-pass distance, roll load, roll speed, horizontal roll alignment. Fifty tests have been carried out under varied operating conditions, measuring section quality and longitudinal straining to give a picture of bending. A channel section was chosen for its simplicity and compatibility with previous work. Quality measurements were measured in terms of vertical bow, twist and cross-sectional geometric accuracy, and a complete method of classifying quality has been devised. The longitudinal strain profile was recorded, by the use of strain gauges attached to the strip surface at five locations. Parameter control is shown to be important in allowing consistency in section quality. At present rolling mills are constructed with large tolerances on operating conditions. By reduction of the variability in parameters, section consistency is maintained and mill down-time is reduced. Roll load, alignment and differential roll speed are all shown to affect quality, and can be used to control quality. Set-up time is reduced by improving the design of the mill so that parameter values can be measured and set, without the need for judgment by eye. Values of parameters can be guided by models of the process, although elements of experience are still unavoidable. Despite increased parameter control, section quality is variable, if only due to variability in strip material properties. Parameters must therefore be changed during rolling. Ideally this can take place by closed-loop feedback control. Future work lies in overcoming the problems connected with this control.