Mechanics of longitudinal rolling of tube through three grooved rolls
This investigation examined the process of the longitudinal rolling of tubes through a set of three driven grooved rolls. Tubes were rolled with or without internal support i.e. under mandrel rolling or sinking conditions. Knowledge was required of the way in which the roll separating force and rolling torque vary for different conditions of rolling. The objective of this work being to obtain a better understanding and optimization of the mechanics of the process. The design and instrumentation of a complete experimental three-roll mill for the rolling of lead tube as an analogue material for hot steel, with the measurement of the individual roll force and torque is described. A novel type of roll load cell was incorporated and its design and testing discussed. Employing three roll sizes of 170 mm, 255 mm and 340 mm shroud diameter, precise tube specimens of various tube diameter to thickness ratios were rolled under sinking and mandrel rolling conditions. To obtain an indication of the tube-roll contact areas some of the specimens were partially rolled. For comparative purposes the remaining tubes were completely rolled as a single pass. The roll forces, torques and tube parameters e.g. reduction of area, D/t ratio, were collated and compared for each of the three roll diameters considered. The influence of friction, particularly in the mandrel rolling process, was commented upon. Theoretical studies utilising the equilibrium and energy methods were applied to both the sinking and mandrel rolling processes. In general, the energy approach gave better comparison with experiment, especially for mandrel rolling. The influence of the tube deformation zones on the two processes was observed and on the subsequent modification of the tube-roll arc contact length. A rudimentary attempt was made in the theoretical sinking analysis to allow for the deformation zone prior to roll contact; some success was noted. A general survey of the available tube rolling literature, for both the sinking and mandrel processes has been carried out.