Looking for Contoured Roll Formed Parts?

Looking for Contoured Roll Formed Parts?

When it comes to parts for maintenance repairs and new parts fabrication, everything is not simply straight lengths and angles. There are times when a curved, or contoured, part is needed to do the job. And that hasn’t been an easy task for most parts suppliers.

Enhancing Roll Formed Parts

We’ve covered the topic of roll form parts in this blog previously, but they are essentially components that are formed by a “rolling” process using in house machined tooling dies.  

“Cold rolling” refers to processes done at or near room temperature. Creating a contoured version from one of these roll formed parts is not a simple process. One way of attempting this is the stretch forming method. This is a cold-forming operation used to bend straight aluminum or steel into a curved shape.

The process involves bending the parts over several curved dies, which produces a degree of axial tension. Higher tensions reduce the inherent spring back.

However, AAA Air Support has developed a process involving a variety of specially built tooling and dies to produce several capabilities.

With the stretching step, we have the capability of creating semi-circular, or “half-moon” shaped parts from roll form parts at our own manufacturing facility. These custom parts can be manufactured from quality aluminum roll form materials,  in alloys such as 2024, 6061, 7075 or steel.

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Figure 1

Roll Forming Explained

A roll formed part starts out as a flat sheet of aluminum or steel, which is run through the roll form process. Eventually, it results in a shape at the other end. The roll forming process works by passing the sheet metal through a series of rollers. Each of these rollers adds more of the desired shape to the metal.

When it is complete, these rollers will have formed the desired cross-section. Because the process is consistent and repeatable, roll forming is a great way to produce high volumes of precise metal components. At AAA Air Support, we roll form our products using a wide range of aluminum alloys, titanium and stainless steel.

Roll formed parts differ fundamentally from extruded parts. An aircraft extrusion part is a piece of aluminum alloy metal that is heated up and either pushed or pulled through a die. This process creates shapes with sharp corners.

When it comes to custom contoured parts, the disqualifying factor for material is the challenge of secondary operations. Before any secondary operations can be added to a part, it must go through a process in an oven. 

Roll formed parts are ideal for complex designs requiring multiple bends and secondary operations, such as hole punches, notches or slots. In simple terms, only roll formed parts can be used to create custom curved, or contoured, parts. And we have a large selection of these to work with.

Figure 2

AAA Air Support Offers Exceptional Service and Capabilities

We offer a wide variety of aerospace parts and other metal supply services. We specialize in aerospace roll forming. Roll forming is a process that uses a coil or strip of metal, which is continuously passed through shaping rollers and dies to form the desired profile.

We can manufacture roll form products using various grades of aluminum, steel and titanium and we can produce roll form in sections up to 75 feet in length, custom “one off” sections and multiple production runs.

Our Gardena office offers on-line ‘live chat’ through our website. We encourage customers to make use of this convenient tool to check inventory, pricing, lead-times, material certification, and all other questions relevant to our industry. We offer this service as a convenience to busy, challenged, and dedicated purchasing agents.

Regardless of whether you need 100 feet material or just a few feet of stainless-steel tubing, AAA Air Support promises to always ship your orders quickly and efficiently. Our goal always is

to provide your company with the means to complete that project or get that airplane back in the air.

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