Rolling Mills: What They Are & How They Work

For more than a century, FENN has been in the business of designing and building rugged, dependable metal forming machinery. One of FENN’s most popular product lines is Rolling Mills. FENN offers a wide range of standard and custom size Rolling Mills for a variety of applications including heavy ingot breakdown, laboratory research, coil to coil rolling and precision strip.

FENN rolling mills are engineered to meet the critical requirements of metallurgical research and applications up to 3.3 million lbs. (1500 MT) separating force. FENN designs and builds rolling mills available with a complete offering of material handling options, processing, gauging and labor-saving accessories. FENN offers customizable rolling mills for the processing of ferrous, non-ferrous, alloy, exotic and engineered metals for production and laboratory applications.

 

What Is a Rolling Mill?

At its most basic principle, a rolling mill is a machine that reduces the thickness of a metal without sacrificing any of the material – meaning material is always displaced and never lost. By design and function, rolling mills do not generate scrap. The process of rolling affects the materials at a metallurgical level and the desired material thickness can be achieved while also producing the desired tensile strength. Rolling mills can be designed with specialty tooling to impart patterns on the material – this is known as an embossed mill. Additionally, grooved mills can be used to reduce round and bar stock by reducing the overall area of the material but maintaining the shape.

There are many different types of rolling mills that can be used for various rolling applications:

  • Breakdown rolling of either straight lengths or coil to coil
  • Finish rolling of tight tolerance thin gauge stock – commonly a 4-HI mill or cluster mill
  • Powder metallurgy rolling utilizing a horizontal mill – designed for plastics and battery industries
  • Bonding of dissimilar metals
  • Camber correction of BI-metal strips after Electron-beam welding
  • Grooved rolls for rod rolling – square or circular sectionsmetal roll forming machine
  • Embossed rolls can be used for pattern rolling
  • Laboratory rolling mills can be used for research and development

 

To learn more about the different types of FENN rolling mill, check out this blog: Different Types of Rolling Mills & What They Do

How Do Rolling Mills Work?

Although quantities can vary, rolling mills use a set of at least two rollers. The set of rotating rollers grip the material and drive it forward. The material is then driven through an opening that is smaller than its starting thickness. The rolls themselves reduce the materials thickness and in the process produce a finished thickness less than that of the starting thickness. The rolls themselves function similarity to a draw die or swager dies in terms of reducing the area of the material without any loss of material or scrap. However, the adjustability in the roll gap allows the operator to run various thickness reductions using one set of tooling. It is for this reason that a rolling mill is the common use of machine for controlling the thickness in various strips. The operator is able to control the process and make adjustments during production by using an integrated HMI station.

As mentioned, there are many different types of rolling mills. However, the operation of rolling mills is to process various metals through one or more sets of rolls to reduce thickness, create uniform thickness, imprint a design or compact loose material. FENN rolling mills can be custom designed and built to help metal manufacturers perform test runs to refine their processes for maximum productivity and efficiency.

FENN Rolling Mills are available in a wide range of configurations and sizes, for an assortment of engineering, manufacturing, and research and development (R&D) applications. With customizations available, FENN Rolling Mills offer flexibility and numerous benefits to companies and universities who choose this equipment for their metallurgical applications. A complete offering of material handling, processing, gauging and labor-saving accessories are available for our rolling mill machinery. Learn more about customized auxiliary options for FENN’s rolling mills.

rolling mill machine

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