Roll Forming Glossary/Dictionary R-S

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Reel breaks

Fractured base metal normally caused by poor leveling. It is indicated by light kinks across the width of the winding coil.

Reel kinks

Damage on the strip in the core of a coil.

Roll changing

The process of changing the rolls in a roll forming machine. This process is time consuming and costly.

Roll formed shape, hollow

A roll formed shape that is closed by mechanically fastening or welding the two strip edges together.

Roll formed shape, open

A roll formed shape with a linear or curved contour in which the
two ends of the shape are not brought together.

Roll forming

Is a continuous metal forming process taking sheet, strip, or coiled
stock and bending or forming it into shapes of essentially identical
cross section by feeding the metal between successive pairs of rolls
that increasingly shape it until the desired cross section is completed
adding both strength and rigidity to lightweight materials.

Roll forming machine

A machine capable of press metal sheet or roll through two sets of
rollers to form materials with nearly identical cross sections.

Roll forming metals

The roll forming process can handle a wide variety of metals including
ferrous, nonferrous, hot rolled, cold rolled, polished, plated, and pre-painted metals.

Roll forming tooling

The tooling used in roll forming includes the forming rolls and the dies for punching and cutting off the material.

Roll stations

Tandem sets of rolls used in roll forming to shape the metal stock
in a series of progressive stages to form the desired cross-sectional

Runout table

A table designed to handle the roll formed part after it has been
cut off. See pre-punch or pre-notch table.

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Section shape

The final profile of a roll formed piece. A complex shape may require
multiple passes through the rollers to roll form the section correctly.

Section width

The width of the roll formed section or the width of the piece or
roll to be roll formed.


A wide, but thin (down to .05″), flat rolled metal mass in widths
typically provided in widths from 24″ to 80″. It can be sold either
in cut-to-length pieces or rolled into large, heavy coils. See coils.

Single-duty machine

A single duty machine is a roll forming machine built and designed
to process one specific profile or one set of roll forming tooling.
Single duty machines are not designed for convenient roll changing.
See conventional machines.

Slit edges

The edges of sheet or strip metal resulting from cutting to width
by rotary slitters.


(1) The process of taking the wide rolls or sheets provided by the
mills and cutting them down to narrower width strips or rolls by service
centers to meet the needs of their customers, such as roll formers.
(2) Cutting or shearing along single lines to cut strips from a sheet
or to cut along lines of a given length or contour in a sheet or workpiece.
(3) Cutting sheet or strip metal to width by rotary slitters.


A condition of a roll formed piece that occurs when the material
to be formed has not been stressed past its elastic limit. See elastic

Stainless steel

Corrosion resistant steel of a wide variety, but always containing
a high percentage of chromium. These steels are highly resistant to
corrosion attack by organic acids, weak mineral acids, atmospheric
oxidation, and other corroding materials.


A metal fabricating process that can compete with roll forming that
presses a metal blank with powerful dies into a predetermined shape
(or pattern). Stamping utilizes mechanically or hydraulically powered
presses that are fed by continuous strips of metal or individual blanks.
The strips or blanks are positioned in the press and shaped between
tooling forced into the materials by a powerful stamping action.

Station configuration

The term used to describe how the individual roll forming units are
mounted. The station configuration usually determines the type of
shapes that can be formed on that machine. There are six basic station
configurations. They are single-duty machine, conventional/standard
, and double-head machines.


Iron, malleable in at least one range of temperature below its melting
point without special heat treatment substantially free from slag,
and containing carbon more than about 0.05% and less than about 2.00%. Other alloying elements may be present in significant quantities,
but all steels contain at least small amounts of manganese and silicon,
and usually as undesirable constituents, also sulfur and phosphorus.

Sweep (also known as Curve)

Sweep is the variation from a straight line in the horizontal plane
measured after the part has been roll formed. Causes of sweep included
incorrect horizontal roll alignment and uneven forming pressure. See
bow, curve, camber, and twist.

Sweep - illustration

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