April 26th, 2023
In the 1950s most ring rolling companies were rolling rings for ducting and chimneys with some heavier work for material handling.
In those days the larger fabricators and big engineering shops had larger section bending machines they used for their work and would offer to do bending work for smaller fabricators.
The smaller machines available were not easy to work and better machines were designed by sheet metal companies which become specialist ring rolling companies.
The quantity of rings used for ducting started to reduce in the 1960’s and by the end of the 1970’s the use of rectangular ducting became the norm as its use enabled the depth of the floor in a building to be reduced.
The use of a circular cross-section for the movement of fluids, although ideal to achieve laminar flow, was overshadowed by the lower building floor depth saving that resulted in the lower production cost of rectangular ducting.
The large shipyards also had heavy section bending rolls but the demise of shipbuilding in Europe in the 1970’s from completion from the Far East resulted in most yards having to close.
One of the issues with the heavy plant is that the machines are expensive and were often only used occasionally by large fabricators, although they had to have them to do the work. Therefore the return on investment was not that exciting and this enabled ring-rolling companies such as our Barnshaw Section Bending to expand as we would do work for many companies that enable the return to be more acceptable.
Rolling rings is a much specialised job and the operators have to understand how metal behaves when deformed passed its yield point which we have to do on every bend to give the section its new curved shape.
The use of rings for the industry continued but with its decline following the recession in 1980’s new applications for the use of curved steel become essential for the bending industry.