Continuous roll forming (CRF) is a novel technology for both single-piece and small-batch manufacturing of 3D surface sheet metal parts. In the CRF process, a pair of flexible rolls is placed to form a non-uniform roll gap. When the flexible rolls rotate in opposite directions with identical angular velocity, the sheet metal is bitten into the roll gap by frictional force, and the sheet metal is non-uniformly thinned in thickness direction and elongated in longitudinal direction. Thus, a 3D surface part with a desired shape is manufactured consecutively. In this paper, CRF is further developed and expanded into LB-CRF, which enables the CRF process to manufacture 3D surface parts not only with transverse and longitudinal bending deformation but also with lateral bending deformation (LB-CRF). The methods to design the curved profiles of flexible rolls and the distribution of the roll gap are provided. Through a series of numerical simulations on the LB-CRF processes, the proposed design methods are verified. The relationship between the distribution of the roll gap and radius of lateral bending curvature is discussed. The LB-CRF processes were presented through experiments, and the results validate the feasibility of adopting the LB-CRF process to manufacture 3D surface part with lateral bending.
Continuous forming Flexible roll 3D surface part Numerical simulation Lateral bending
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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