Plate rolling is one of the most common, yet complex, metal fabrication processes.
With its versatility, aluminum is a favorite metal for many manufacturing projects. It’s not a far reach to say that aluminum products are everywhere -- from the obvious (your Pepsi can) to the not-so-obvious (guitar necks).
Combining plate rolling services and aluminum creates plates that are not only strong as other metals, but also weigh less and are more cost-effective to produce.
Metal Plate Rolling in a Nutshell
Metal plate rolling is an intense process. It’s completed one of two ways:
- Hot rolling: Metal is superheated to temperatures of up to 1,700° F and passed through rollers for shaping.
- Cold rolling: Metal is heated somewhat and shaped under intense pressure. Typically, cold-formed metal requires several passes through rollers during shaping because cooler metal isn’t as malleable.
Roll forming is a preferred metal fabrication method as it quickly produces pieces that are uniform and consistent. It’s also more efficient -- metal plates of practically any length, width, and thickness are possible in one production run.
Aluminum Formability: Ideal for Plate Rolling Services
Even when being manufactured into thick plates, aluminum is an easier material to work with.
During aluminum plate rolling, the metal is hot rolled until it reaches a desired thickness. Depending on a project’s specifications, aluminum plates may undergo additional processing through cold rolling.
Through both metal rolling processes, aluminum becomes stronger. The enhanced strength allows aluminum to maintain its shape and not buckle under pressure.
While plate rolling takes plenty of time, energy, and labor, processing aluminum takes less than many other metals, such as steel, saving you time and money.
Why You’ll Love Aluminum Plates
Using aluminum in your project is an investment in products that are strong and long lasting.
An easily fabricated metal, aluminum is used for many purposes -- from bed frame tubing to airplane bodies. It’s also a cost-effective metal option.
Made from one the most abundant metals on the planet, aluminum plates boast several advantages:
- Environmental tolerance
By itself, aluminum is weaker than other metals. But as we mentioned, aluminum becomes stronger during processing. With the addition of alloys -- a common practice -- aluminum can be made stronger than steel.
Aluminum’s strength lends itself to durability.
When compared to steel, aluminum plates can withstand the same extreme pressure and tension without cracking, tearing, or permanently losing form.
A lighter metal, aluminum weighs less than half of what steel does. Compared to other metals, aluminum’s strength-to-weight ratio is superior. That means aluminum steel plates weigh less than steel rolled plates while still delivering enough strength for your project demands.
Aluminum tolerates colder temperatures better than other metals. When exposed to lower temperatures, aluminum becomes stronger, unlike steel or titanium, which become brittle.
Naturally resistant to corrosion, aluminum lasts longer than other metals when exposed to the elements or corrosive environments, such as a stiff breeze of salty sea air. In fact, when aluminum starts to corrode, it naturally forms a protective layer to prevent further degradation.
When it comes to welding or bonding, aluminum is a top choice as it easily conducts heat and electricity.
As a softer metal, it’s also easier to pierce or bend into specific shapes during processing.
Plate Rolling Services and Aluminum Formability = A Perfect Match
With its malleability combined with uncompromised strength after roll forming, aluminum plates bring versatility to any project.
Choosing the right MEtal Finishing Technique makes a big difference for your project.
Take a deep dive into the world of metal finishing techniques: