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Plate Rolling vs Rolling Plate: Understanding the Differences and Applications

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Plate rolling and rolling plate are two similar sounding but separate procedures used in fabrication and manufacturing industries. Despite having similar names, each technique has its own distinct qualities and uses.

Let’s dive deep into the topic and understand it right from scratch.

What is Plate Rolling?

Plate rolling is a process that involves the rolling of a flat sheet in spherical or conical shapes. The majority of the goods supplied during plate rolling are sophisticated, cutting-edge, and one-of-a-kind. They are made with the help of specialized machinery known as the plate rolling machine or the plate bending machine.

In the plate rolling process, a plain sheet is passed through a set of rollers that apply pressure on the sheet to deform the material.

There are three types of rollers in plate rolls, one at the top and two at the bottom.

  • Top roller - It acts as a main pressure point.

  • Downward rollers - They act as supporters while deforming the sheet.

Step-by-Step Procedure of Plate Rolling

The technological application of plate rolling consists of the following steps:

1 . Preparing the Sheet Clean and prepare the metal sheet to be processed in order to establish the parameters for size and shape.

2. Adjusting Equipment Parameters

To make sure the machinery can meet the demands of production, you need to debug and adjust the steel plate rolling machine as needed.

3. Rolling the Sheet

The sheet of metal is put into the plate rolls (also known as the plate bending machine), where it is rolled through a series of rollers that exert pressure on the sheet and bend it into the desired form.

4. Adjusting the Rolling Process

In order to ensure that the sheet is being rolled to the desired shape and curvature throughout the rolling process, the operator needs to make the required adjustments to the sheet.

5. Assembly or Subsequent Processing

Post-bending, other methods like welding and polishing can be used for subsequent processing.

Benefits of Plate Rolling

After understanding how plate rolling machines work, let’s learn some of their benefits and how they can be useful.

  • Versatility

From straightforward curves to intricate cylindrical forms, plate rolling is capable of producing a wide range of sizes and shapes.

  • Quick Production

The usage of plate bending machines allows for the quick and continuous production of curved or cylindrical components, thus increasing productivity.

  • Material Preservation

Plate rolls preserve the material by maintaining its strength and integrity. Thus, the additional load of the welding or joining process is reduced.

Disadvantages/Downsides of Plate Rolling

“There are two sides to every coin,” the same is the case with plate rolling. Though the plate rolling machine is valuable in its own right, certain drawbacks outweigh its benefits. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Size

Plate rolling is suited for relatively thick plates with a thickness that ranges from 6mm to several centimeters.

  • Higher Cost of Setting the Machine

It can be a burden on the pockets to acquire and install specialized roll plating machines and tooling. Hence, it is more suitable for a company that does large-scale manufacturing or manufactures specialized applications.

  • Lack of Precision

Precise geometrics, such as tight radii or complex contours, can be difficult to achieve using plate rolling alone.

Here we complete the in-depth knowledge of Plate rolling. Let’s proceed to the next section of our topic i.e., Rolling Plate.

What is a Rolling Plate?

A rolling plate is a process of lowering the thickness of a metal plate by passing it through a sequence of rollers. In this process, pressure is used to roll a metal sheet on the rolls, deforming and creating it to the required shape and size.

This method is mainly used in sheet metal production, where the initial material is typically thicker than the intended final result.

Upsides of Rolling Plate

Some of the most common benefits of rolling plates are mentioned below. Let’s understand each one of them in detail.

  • High Accuracy

The technique of rolling the plate may produce the metal sheet in a precise shape and size that can meet specific requirements.

  • Higher Output

The rolling plate method is capable of producing a huge number of similar or identical metal sheets in a short duration and in an efficient manner.

  • Can Process Various Metals

Steel, copper, aluminum, titanium, and other metals can be fabricated using the rolling plate methodology.

  • Can Create Complicated Shapes

The rolling plate strategy can generate metal sheets in a variety of shapes, including flat, curved, and so on.

  • Cost-Effective

The cost of the rolling plate process is usually cheaper as compared to other metal processing techniques, enabling it to meet the production needs of large quantities at a low cost.

Demerits of Rolling Plate

We have gone through the merits of rolling the plate. But it also has certain sets of limitations that one must go through before making the decision to buy the machine. Let’s go through them in detail.

  • Limited Shape Manipulation

A rolling plate, unlike plate rolling, can only reduce thickness and is not appropriate for complex shaping or bending operations.

  • Limitations on Plate Width

The width of the starting plate can limit the size of the rolled sheets.

  • Extra Processing

To get the final product as required, rolled sheets may require additional processing, such as cutting or shaping.

Rolling Plate vs. Plate Rolling (How to Spot the Difference?)

After we've covered the applications, benefits, and drawbacks of the rolling plate and plate rolling, let's shed some light on their significant differences.

  • Main Goal

Plate rolling - The main goal is to shape and bend the plate into cylindrical, conical, square, or other forms.

Rolling plate - The primary purpose of plate rolling is to reduce the thickness of the metal plate.

  • Appropriate Thickness of Plate

Plate rolling - In this procedure, the thickness of the plate ranges from 6mm to several centimeters.

Rolling Plate - In this process, the manufacturing of sheets requires thicker plates.

  • Shape Complexity

Plate rolling - A variety of shapes like spheres, cones, squares a,nd others can be created using the rolling plate technique.

Rolling Plate - The main aim of plate rolling is to focus merely on the thickness of a plate.

  • Material Yield

Plate rolling - As a flat sheet is rolled into different shapes, it causes less wastage of material.

Rolling plate - In this process usage of a material is optimized.

  • Production Effectiveness

Plate Rolling- The process of plate rolling involves continuous elastic bending with a specified stretch.

Rolling Plate- The rolling plate process effectively produces many similar metal sheets.

  • Cost of Equipment

Plate Rolling - Plate rolls are pricey.

Rolling plate - Rolling plates are less expensive as compared to plate rolling.


In a nutshell, plate rolling and rolling plate are two unique procedures that serve different goals with distinct applications. Plate rolling is suitable for bending and shaping thick sheets into an array of forms, offering creativity and efficiency in production.

Thus we conclude the primary distinction between the rolling plate and plate rolling. The rolling plate is more precise and highly specialized and primarily refers to the processing of sheet metal by rolling and bending rollers. On the other hand, plate rolling is a broader term that covers rolling plates besides other processing methods.

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