Computer aided form roll design
Cold roll forming is an extremely important but little studied sheet metal forming process. In this thesis, the process of cold roll forming is introduced and it is seen that form roll design is central to the cold roll forming process. The conventional design and manufacture of form rolls is discussed and it is observed that surrounding the design process are a number of activities which although peripheral are time consuming and a possible source of error. A CAD/CAM system is described which alleviates many of the problems traditional to form roll design. New techniques for the calculation of strip length and controlling the means of forming bends are detailed. The CAD/CAM system's advantages and limitations are discussed and, whilst the system has numerous significant advantages, its principal limitation can be said to be the need to manufacture form rolls and test them on a mill before a design can be stated satisfactory. A survey of the previous theoretical and experimental analysis of cold roll forming is presented and is found to be limited. By considering the previous work, a method of numerical analysis of the cold roll forming process is proposed based on a minimum energy approach. Parallel to the numerical analysis, a comprehensive range of software has been developed to enhance the designer's visualisation of the effects of his form roll design. A complementary approach to the analysis of form roll design is the generation of form roll design, a method for the partial generation of designs is described. It is suggested that the two approaches should continue in parallel and that the limitation of each approach is knowledge of the cold roll forming process. Hence, an initial experimental investigation of the rolling of channel sections is described. Finally, areas of potential future work are discussed.