Ring rolling says it perfectly in those two little words, but the process is intricate and sophisticated. Ring-shaped components abound in the automotive, aerospace and civil engineering industries. It is a complex process that process forces metal to undergo complicated microstructural evolution, which determines the properties and life of the ring so formed.
Before the advent of modern hydraulics and computerised control, the process of ring rolling was a manual one, in which a skilled operator had to use all his experience to manipulate the command levers and successfully negotiate the workings of the rolling cycle in order to produce a quality rolled ring.
Today, we’re able to easily program a radial-axial rolling system, ensuring the ring rolling process is fully automated from start to finish. Ring rolling is also extremely versatile as it can be performed on the material at both high and ambient temperatures.
As a unique and important member of the metal forming family, the ring rolling process provides a cost-effective route to manufacture seamless rings. Radial-axial ring rolling is the mainly used forming process to produce seamless rings, which is a very exacting product for high-end users.
Ring Rolling 101
The ring rolling process and equipment are not dissimilar in principle, to rolling mills used for plate production….in both processes the metal is rolled between two rolls which move toward each other to form a continuously reducing gap. In the case of ring rolling, the rolls are of different diameters and geometries.
As well put by Total Materia, “Ring rolling is an advanced technique to manufacture rings with flexible cross-sectional shape, improved grain structure, and minimal scrap. The advantages of the ring rolling process include short production time, uniform quality, close tolerances and a considerable saving in material cost.”
‘Round, Like a Circle in a Spiral, Like a Wheel Within a Wheel’ go the lyrics of the song, ‘Windmills of my mind’. That pretty much describes ring rolling. Think of train wheels and you’re on the button with a ring rolling application to manufacture anti-friction bearing railway ’tyres’.