Steel Plate Rolling: Pre-Bending of Heavy Plate with a Three-Roll, Plate Rolling Machine

A common question regarding steel plate rolling is whether the raw material, the steel blank, should be cut to length or provided with extra material to be trimmed during and/or after the rolling process.

Another question related to the blank size is whether plate to be rolled can be provided cut to length with the ends beveled.

The answer is that if the plate ends can be bent prior to rolling, then no extra material is required.  This process is called “pre-bending.”  Pre-bending can be done with a radius die in a press brake or done in a three-roll, plate roll.  How thick a plate you can pre-bend is controlled by the maximum pressure that can be applied by the top roll of the machine.

More specifically, the capacity of a three-roll plate roll machine is defined by the maximum thickness and the minimum radius combinations that can be pre-bent for a given plate of maximum width. Pre-bending saves time. You do not have to cut then roll, cut then roll, etc. Pre-bending also eliminates flat spots and material waste.

What about beveling or chamfering the edges at the ends of the plate? (Beveling or chamfering the sides on the width of the plate as it is put into the machine is not an issue—that process works well.)  With pre-beveled and pre-bent plate, the rolling process can again provide uniform plate curvature with minimal material waste and no need for extra trimming.

Three-roll plate rolls are used to manufacture parts for oil and gas rigs,  tunnel supports, boiler equipment, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers to name just a few products.


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