For as long as mankind has had fire, he has struggled to find new and more efficient ways to shape and harden metal tools. Ancient techniques pale in comparison with today’s modern methods, in particular the process of roll forming. When done properly, roll forming yields a smoothly shaped metal which retains much of its strength despite being shaped, curved and contorted.
What Is Roll Forming?
This recent technology works on a very simple premise. A sheet of material is moved through carefully constructed rollers, which gradually bend it into the desired shape. The degree to which each roller can be adjusted varies by machine, but the process remains the same. This design allows each roller to produce only a small portion of the overall shape, and to do so without snapping whatever is being moved through it.
The variety of patterns that can be formed with a proper setup is almost limitless. In fact, many companies employ computer modeling to help determine the best way to achieve a particular design. The combination of computers and this powerful metal shaping technology minimizes the amount of wasted material in the process, maximizing efficiency and profits.
Shaping Sheet Metal Into Drawer Slides
One of the most common uses for roll forming is the shaping of drawer slides. Folding and shaping metal in this way drawer slide manufacturer allows companies to circumvent one of the most common problems in the industry: weak joints which eventually fail and snap. Because there are no joints created with this technique, there is no potential for snapping. There is a risk of bending, but if the original metal is strong enough, it retains its shape easily and maintains almost full strength after being bent.
When properly set up, this method can be used to machine complex shapes quickly. The apparatus can be turned into a form of assembly line, with as many rollers as needed to create something like a slide assembly chained end-to-end.