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So far Nathalia and Jorge has created 4 blog entries.
12 03, 2020

What is Roll Forming?

2020-05-14T15:21:27+00:00 March 12th, 2020|News Blog|

Roll forming is a continuous process which converts sheet metal into an engineered shape using consecutive sets of mated rolls, each of which makes only incremental changes in the form.  The sum of these small changes in form is a complex profile.

The Forming Process

 In conventional stamping the entire part is formed all at the same time. The part shape – and especially how complex it can be is limited when the strains from forming exceed what the metal is capable of achieving before splitting.  In roll formed parts, only a small amount of forming strain is put into the part during each station and even here, only a small section is bent at any given time. Because of this, more complex shapes can be achieved with an appropriately designed roll forming process.

In the forming process, a coil or long individual strips are fed through a roll forming line which converts the flat sheet to a contoured cross-sectional profile. The unique aspect of this approach is the use of consecutive forming stations, each of which nudges the metal towards the desired shape.  Based on the targeted profile, a computer calculates the optimal placing and shape of the rollers for maximum efficiency and designs the track.  The more advanced the desired shape, the more rollers the material goes through. The roll forming line can bend metal, form metal into tubes, create metal maze-like structures, and punch the metal with holes during the process.

A rendered image of four grey rollers placed in a cross-pattern forming a metal profile that resembles a capital, backwards “Z” and “G” joined together at the top.

The rollers are precision-contoured metal dies that shape the incoming sheet metal. In most cases, they are also the powered drive rolls that pull the strip through the roll forming unit. These rollers can be as simple as the cylindrical rollers used to roll luggage through airport scanners, or they can take on more intricate shapes. After the final forming station, the strip is sheared to the ordered product length. Typically, no additional work is needed before shipment, since the final form has been achieved.

3D rendered image of a shiny steel roll former.

Advantages of the Roll Forming Process

 

There are a variety of advantages to roll forming. Because of the “assembly line” efficiency of roll forming, long lengths of metal can be produced and cut in large quantities, which reduces cost.  Secondary processes such as punching or even welding can be integrated into a single production line. The profiles that can be produced using roll formed sheet steel are similar to what is seen in extruded aluminum.

The roll forming process makes creating lighter-weight steel parts easier compared to other shaping processes, since the wall thickness can be targeted based on the structural needs of the component.  Parts can be rolled even if a finish or paint has been applied. While hot forming can produce similarly complex profiles, roll forming is a room temperature process.  As such, […]

8 01, 2020

Galvanized Steel in The Agricultural Industry

2020-01-15T19:15:45+00:00 January 8th, 2020|News Blog|

Rows of planted crops on mounds of brown dirt that stretch towards the horizon line and meet a blue sky with clouds. In the middle of the picture are 5 white, transparent bubble logos with green designs in the middle, from right to left: a water drop, a farmer with a shovel, a tall stalk of wheat, a tractor, and a sun.

Metal and Farming:  A Perfect Match

 

The union of farming and metalworking has led to many of civilizations technological and agricultural developments. Before the invention of farming, most early civilizations existed as gatherers and hunters. Because farming created the conditions in which people could settle, it ultimately contributed to the building of modern society and culture. Farming, and the stability farming provided humanity, led to the benefits of modernity: technology, politics, literature, the arts, and culture. Metal, like farming, helped to tilt the balance of power between mankind and nature towards mankind. Human beings could finally subdue the natural elements around them, which, beforehand, they seemingly had little to no control over.

Before the union of farm work and metal, farmers had inefficient tools to contend with the harsh conditions. These medieval farms only produced somewhere between 4.34 seeds for each seed of wheat sown. Entire village populations were constantly on the brink of starvation. Metalworkers introduced the iron plow to farmers, who had been using the ineffectual wooden plow. The new iron plows could cut through the heavy northern European soil, even during winter frost. This mingling of metal and farm work, among other technological/intellectual developments, led to the Enlightenment era and a population boom that reshaped the social order.

A painting of oxen pulling a blue and brown plow across brown dirt; a bearded man in a blue tunic and brown pants follows behind, with both hands on the plow.

Today, the interaction between farming and metalworking continues to provide humanity with bountiful harvest. Although farms have become much more efficient, profit and competitive margins remain slim. Advances in metallurgy – like galvanized steel, are a keystone to modern farming operations by helping farmers to save time and money.

 

The Benefits of Galvanized Steel

 

Galvanized metal has been around for hundreds of years, although the methods for applying the zinc coating have become more sophisticated.

Galvanization improves steel’s longevity through a protective coating that prevents rust from forming. The process of hot-dip galvanizing creates a product with many benefits that other types of coatings don’t offer. For example, galvanized steel is:

  • Less expensive when compared with most treated steels.
  • Lower in maintenance cost than other coated metals – saving time on repairs and replacements.
  • Damage-resistant, very durable, and can withstand outdoor elements.
  • Self-healing in the way it’s coating provides automatic protection for damaged areas and will corrode preferentially to the steel, creating protection to the areas that are damaged.

Ready to use immediately upon delivery – it does not require additional preparation of the surface (painting/coatings, etc.) prior to installation.

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4 01, 2020

Steel Service Spotlight: National Material of Mexico

2020-04-01T21:22:12+00:00 January 4th, 2020|News Blog|

The official National Material Mexico Logo which consists of “NMM” written in large, silver 3-D letters with shadow effect to create depth, and underneath a backwards pyramid made up of four upside-down, golden trapezoids that gradually reduce in length until they reach a triangle point set in the forefront of a beautiful luminous winter mountain backdrop.

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”

–Helen Keller

National Material Company (NMC) has maintained continuity since its inception – never changing ownership or strategic focus. This has allowed NMC to become an industry leading company. It’s true that this longevity gives NMC a competitive edge in the steel service industry, but it’s also true that NMC’s leadership has not only been built across time, but across cultural boundaries. National Material of Mexico (NMM), a global partner in Mexico that not only leads the Mexican steel service but has recently undergone an exciting expansion of their facilities.

About National Material of Mexico

Both NMC and NMM are part of the National Material Limited Partnership (NMLP) steel division, which is one of the largest independent steel service centers in the United States. NMLP operates 16 steel service centers and processing facilities in North America and ships over 2,000,000 tons of steel annually.

National Material of Mexico is one of the largest Steel Service Centers in Mexico, serving the automotive, HVAC, home appliance, motor and transformer manufacturers in Mexico. A large portion of NMM’s success lies in its supply of ultra-light and ultra-strong Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) to the Mexican automotive business.

It provides all the AHSS grades as well as other material processing services with hot rolled, cold rolled, grain-oriented and non-oriented electrical steel, galvanized, galvannealed, aluminized, prepainted and other coated metals.

Like its northern partner, NMC, National Material of Mexico’s premier standing in the Mexican steel service industry relies not only on its efficiency at the plants, but also on a timely supply of all materials to clients.

With the National Material Limited Partnership as a constant support system, the companies create synergies and partnership that streamline processes with tangible benefits to the clients.

NMM locations and joint-venture locations include facilities in:

  • Monterrey
  • Hermosillo
  • San Jose Iturbide
  • Puebla
  • San Luis Potosi
  • Celaya
  • Aguascalientes

With these strategically placed service centers, NMM aims at a “Just-in-Time philosophy” for direct sales and toll processing.

Expansion & The Future of NMM

In 2017, National Material Company announced the expansion of their plants in Mexico for a twofold reason: first, to meet increased demand and second, to focus on the futuristic Advanced High Strength Steel that is going into cars. As VP General Manager Carl Grobien explains:

“We opened up this facility in 1997 with one slitter. Now, we have two slitters, one for electrical steel and one for carbon steel. After so many years, the first slitter is more than 100% full and with the new generation steel, AHSS or Advanced High Strength Steel, going in to automobiles, our steel now goes into […]

24 06, 2019

10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About American Steel and the Steel Industry

2019-09-12T18:25:28+00:00 June 24th, 2019|News Blog|

Clark Kent shedding his businessman persona he pulls his business suit away from his chest, exposing the powerful man of steel - Superman’s signature “S” logo

Looking up at the giant lattice-shell steel art structure known as the “Geodesic Dome” outside Montreal environmental museum “The Biosphere” on a clear blue skied day.

After achieving the mass production of steel, American steel industrialists pushed steelmaking to greater innovative levels. By the year 1920, 60 million tons of American steel were circulating around the world annually, making the United States the biggest global player in the steel service industry. Steel processing became a bulwark of the economy, engraving itself into the nation’s identity.

Today, National Material Company carries on the metal service and steel processing tradition. With the following 10 little-known facts, we salute those who paved the way by transforming the world through metal work.

  1. The Man of Steel could have been the Man of Tungsten.

But that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, now does it? According to Thaddeus Howze — author, editor, podcaster,  and self-proclaimed answer-man on all things comics –Superman got the name Man of Steel because steel was the most common of the strong metals: Steel, Titanium, Tungsten and Inconel. (It may also have something to do with the fact that “Man of Steel” is much snappier than its clunky counterparts.)

Superman was created to symbolize the extraordinary capacity of the everyday man. Thus, steel won out as metal of choice because of the household name it had made for itself, thanks to the wide proliferation of the steel industry at the time.

“Superman was a ‘man of steel’ stronger than anything you could imagine, and yet something as close as the building you were standing in or the car you desired and one day hope to own […] Steel was everywhere and steel was the king of industrial metals during this period [1940]. Steel wasn’t just the metal of tomorrow; it was also the metal of yesterday. Places in the world that had developed steel before modern industries had long-lasting cultures and it was the development of steel which made the industrial age what it was.”( Source: Quora)

2. Showers, Star Wars memes, and steel.

The month of May is well-known for its rain showers. And Star Wars enthusiasts rejoice on May the Fourth Be with You. And let’s not forget – steel.

Yes, that’s right. In the 1960s, as the nation infused steel into its structure and character, Lyndon Johnson saw it fit to raise a pedestal for steel in the pantheon of American achievement.  Therefore, he designated May as a national month for celebrating the steel industry.

“Steel is the core of industrial America. It has helped to make American productivity and technology the wonder of the world. This vital product which we produce in unmatched abundance is basic to our economy and essential to our security. It supports our buildings, spans our rivers, arms our fighting men. It […]