Stainless Steel Rolled Rings
The amount of industrial manufacturing and components that involve a simple circular form is astounding. Gears, bearings, connectors, and many parts of industrial machinery not only involve this shape but also require manufacturing that is durable with tested strength for intense conditions. For many applications involving circular components, rolled ring forging provides the best fabrication method to ensure the integrity of metal parts. As its name implies, rolled ring forging involves shaping metal like stainless steel, to achieve superior strength components combined with the strong characteristics of this high-performance metal.
Stainless Steel Rolled Ring Fabrication
The fabrication begins with cylindrical stainless rods in various sizes. The rods are then sliced with blades at different thicknesses to produce a metal disc. The discs are then super-heated to different temperatures, depending on the metal being used, so that they are pliable, but not melting. At this point, the object is to be able to insert a mandrel, or a cylinder of metal which helps to bend, shape or mold industrial metals. Inserting the mandrel essentially pierces the metal disc, so its shape resembles a donut. This is just the first step in the process.
On a rolling ring mill, a mandrel or idler roller will spin, and slowly move away from the center during shaping. With the super-heated metal in its pliable state, the platform on which it sits will revolve. A drive roller on the outer edge of the metal being shaped will also rotate to allow for more precise shaping, according to the component’s specifications. Axial rollers provide a similar function above and possibly below the metal donut, to control the height, maintain flat surfaces and help to eliminate bumps and other defects.
As the shaping takes place, the placement of the mandrel may change, allowing the circular metal to expand. This increases the size of the center hole and shapes the top and bottom edges against the axial rollers, and the inner edge against the mandrel. During this process, the metal must maintain a pliable temperature, or it will need to be heated again before continuing.
The process continues to increase the diameter as it decreases the piece’s height and wall thickness until the desired specification is reached. Today’s precision machining techniques allow for more accurate achievement of required specs in less time.
Benefits of Stainless Steel Rolled Rings
The reason for using a rolled ring forging method is because of the added strength that can be achieved for components requiring circular fabrication. Because there is no seam in the piece, there is a much greater improbability of failure. For industry applications where high-pressure conditions put additional stress on products, a rolled ring forged seamless component is essential.
Many of these products are used in harsh environments, so the corrosion resistance of stainless makes it a sound choice. And while stainless is forged and machined in the same manner as steel, its ability to be sanitized makes it an excellent choice for industries like food service or scientific applications.