Roll forming is the process of taking sheets of metal and rolling them into an angled shape. This process is useful because it prevents the need for welding separate pieces of metal together. Rolled metal has a higher strength than welded seams, and it is a fast and inexpensive process that is ideal for creating long strips of formed metal. Roll forming services all use a similar method for rolling the metal to create the angled or curved shape of the finished product:
A strip of metal between .004 and .125 inches thick is fed into the rolling machine. The machine aligns the metal so that the machine can create the desired shape. The machine contains a series of rollers that bend and shape the metal one small piece at a time as the metal is fed through the machine. This creates a pattern of bends on the metal that eventually forms the desired piece. Less complicated shapes may only need to travel through one machine, while more complicated shapes may travel through two or more machines to obtain the desired shape. Most factories can bend between 50 and 85 feet of metal in one minute, depending on the desired design shape, the number of stations, and the thickness of the metal.
Many companies choose to use roll forming because it is an uncomplicated and fast way to quickly shape sheets of metal into a desired shape. Roll forming also causes less stress on metal than pressure bending, because the bend occurs a little at a time.