# The Maths of Metal Rolling

If UK manufacturing is to compete with cheaper alternatives, it needs to be high-tech. Parts made out of metal can in general be shaped by three methods: additive (a.k.a. 3D printing), subtractive (i.e. machining away the bits you don’t want), or forming (i.e. forcing the metal into the right shape). 3D printing is slow and does not produce high quality results, whilst machining is wasteful of both energy and money. Forming works well, and is used for everything from coke cans to jaguar cars, but a new design means building a new expensive machine to make it.

What if there were a general purpose forming machine? It could take a computer design and a blank piece of metal (e.g. a sheet, or a block) and form the metal into the desired shape. It could take a rejected mis-formed part from a production line and tweak it into the right shape. It could make accurate shapes out of recycled metal of variable quality. To do all this, it would have to understand how to control the processes of metal forming.

In this talk, I will present some preliminary work on mathematical modelling of metal forming processes. This preliminary work investigates sheet metal rolling, which is both a major industrial process in itself and about the easiest thing we could think of modelling. I will explain how we have applied mathematical modelling to metal forming, what we have got out of it, what we have still got to do, and how we believe this work will eventually contribute to an understanding of controlling the processes of metal forming.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.