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Recent advances in temper

and skin-pass rolling technology
Improvements have been
made in the surface quality,
flatness and surface finish of
skin-passed or temper rolled
strip. The use of the drytemper mill, contoured work
rolls, 2-stand skin-pass mills
and improved mill set-up and
control, aided by advances in
modelling, provide a powerful

Figure 1 Dry-temper equipment

package of available tools.

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Gerhard Finstermann, Gregor Nopp,

Norman Eisenkck and Georg Keintzel
VOEST-ALPINE Industrieanlagenbau
GmbH & Co (VAI)


The skin passing and temper rolling of sheet

products is the final forming step of the production
route in which material properties, flatness and
surface morphology of cold-rolled flat products are
tailored to meet stringent customer requirements.
Prior to temper or skin-pass rolling, the sheet is
subject to a long chain of process steps that involve
considerable conversion costs. For this reason it is
worthwhile to carefully treat the substrate and final
product and not waste valuable material in the form
of scrap.
The potential for yield losses are manifold. It is a
common occurrence for large portions of sheet to
remain on the pup coils as a result of problems in
handling and often the required consistency of
material properties or surface morphology is not
met throughout a coil. Another issue is incorrect strip
shape or surface deterioration as a result of wet
temper agent remaining on the strip.
Surface aspects
The key criteria in skin-pass rolling are surface
cleanliness and roughness, which are important for
subsequent painting, welding and deformation
processes. Rolling influences include the type of roll,

roll-surface roughness, rolling forces, position in

rolling schedule, elongation (degree of deformation),
roll surface cleaning and the agent applied to the roll
and strip surfaces.
Dry-temper process
The development of the dry-temper process has
been marked by substantial improvements in recent
years. The staining problem has been resolved to a
great extent, although modern mills must still offer
parallel wet tempering, mostly to safeguard the skin
passing of coated material. In any case, the issue is
to keep the surface of the rolls clean in order to
prevent particles being imprinted into the strip
surface in the roll gap.
With the dry-temper process (Figure 1), this is
achieved by a combination of brushes, which rotate
and/or oscillate while being lightly pressed against
the roll surfaces, thereby cleaning all particles that
stick to the roll surface. The dirt is collected by a
system of exhaust nozzles.
The conventional wet system (Figure 2), applies fluid
(a water-agent mixture), either into the entry of the mill
bite or onto the surface of the backup rolls. A blowoff system at the exit of the mill ensures a dry strip
Both systems are designed so that application of
both is possible.
Even with such an effective blow-off system,
residuals of the agent remain on the surface which
can cause the well-known spot rust or brown streaks.
Nitrite residuals cause problems during coating
processes, which make it necessary to clean the strip
prior to coating. Additionally, the agent is very costly


Figure 2 Wettemper

Type of mill
Strip thickness
Strip width
Coil weight
Coil diameter
Main-drive power
Mill speed
Rolling force
Work roll diameter/
barrel length
Backup roll diameter/
barrel length

900 kt/a
0.33 mm
6001,620 mm
Max. 30 t
11002,000 mm
2 x 400 kW
Max. 900 m/min
14 MN
602587 mm/1,700 mm
15201,405 mm/1,700 mm
Max. 3%

Table 1 Technical data

Operational results
Excellent product quality:
Nitrite-free surface
50 per cent less spot rust
No brown streaks
No stains from liquid drops.
Service life of rolls:
No change compared to the wet process
Backup rolls 40,000 t
Work rolls 800 t.

Figure 3 Skin-pass mill at voestalpine Stahl, Linz

Lifetime of brushes:
For work rolls 160,000 t
For backup rolls 160,000 t
(cleaning during back up roll change).
Technological effects:
Increase of rolling force (1015 per cent)
Temperature increase of roll surface (change in
work-roll crown, higher bearing temperature).
Suitable for highest quality demands (ie, exposed
automotive sheets)

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and the waste has to be disposed of at high cost due

to its aggressive nature.
The first application at voestalpine Stahl, Linz/Austria
is shown in Figure 3, with plant details given in Table 1.



work rolls. Powerful actuators to apply rolling forces

up to 20,000 kN per mill stand together with the wear
plates to guide work and backup rolls within the mill
stand create a total force of up to 150 kN.
A solution to this problem is to introduce several
strategies that together make a low friction mill to
keep the actuators for flatness control as precise as
possible (Figure 4).
Application of axial shifting of work rolls and
conventional work-roll bending in combination with
the recently developed SmartCrown system by VAI, is
an effective solution for enlarging the adjustment
range of the flatness controller.

Figure 4 Low friction mill

Figure 5 SmartCrown contour

Cost savings (less expenditures for agents and

disposal costs)
Environmental improvement (no aggressive
Reliable technology voestalpine Stahl has used
dry skin-passing exclusively since January 1999 on
its Sheet Skin Pass mill
No restrictions regarding roughness transfer.

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(Note: additional space is required at exit of mill for

dry skin-pass and exhaust equipment.)


Other reference plants are:

voestalpine Stahl, Linz, Austria
HADEED, Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
SALZGITTER Flachstahl, Salzgitter, Germany
DUNAFERR, Dunajvrosz, Hungary.
A wide spectrum of parameter variations such as
thickness, width and yield stress, leads to a high
number of work-roll crowns, and results in costly
logistic measures and a large number of required

SmartCrown is a new type of roll contour that applies
lateral shifting of the work rolls to adjust the unloaded
and loaded roll-gap contourm to adjust the working
range of roll bending, and to match the relative crown
of the incoming strip. The SmartCrown contour
(Figure 5) can be described as a sum of a sinusoidal
and a linear function. Coefficients of this function are
chosen such that at an arbitrary roll-shifting position,
the resulting unloaded roll-gap profile is always
cosine-shaped. Therefore, continuous shifting allows
for continuous adjustment of the roll-gap profile.
The contour of the roll gap can be expressed by a
cosine function. The unloaded roll gap contour
corresponds to a certain portion of a cosine curve
around its vertex. The position of the barrel edge
corresponds to a certain angle, the contour angle.
By fine-tuning this angle, the transverse profile of the
resultant roll gap can be adjusted in such a way that
quarter buckles can be avoided (Figure 6). This is a
result of the fact that the local thickness reduction in
the quarter-buckle-sensitive area is decreased, since
the unloaded roll gap height is somewhat larger in
this region. A smaller local reduction results in a
reduced tendency towards longitudinal compressive
stresses in the strip, which are responsible for the
occurrence of strip buckling. The benefits of
SmartCrown are shown in Figure 7.
Modelling approaches for skin pass and
temper rolling
Respective improvements in the technological controls
for elongation and flatness counteract inconsistencies
born of a variety of process disturbances, resulting
mainly from the incoming material, in addition to other
factors such as acceleration/deceleration and slippage.
However, even rapid and accurate controls are not able
to immediately compensate for errors from setup
deviations. The more frequently changes in sheet sizes
are made, the more important this becomes.
Even today, almost all skin-pass and temper-mill
setups are created using offline calculations and trialand-error procedures during operation. Sophisticated


Figure 6 SmartCrown deviation from a parabolic roll gap as a

function of the contour angle

Figure 7 SmartCrown benefits

circular arc of the enlarged radius, as given by

Hitchcock. [J Hitchcock, Roll Neck Bearings, ASME
Research Publication, Appendix 1, (1935)].
It is also assumed that relative slip between rolls
and the strip exist throughout the roll gap with the
exception of neutral point where the slip changes
The fact that these assumptions are not always true
had been found in experiments about 60 years ago
by Orowan [E Orowan, The calculation of roll
pressure in hot and cold flat rolling. Proceedings of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Vol. 150,
pp.140167, (1948)].
The Hitchcock formula:

16(l-v )FW
= l+
where R is the radius of the deformed work roll, R is
the nominal work roll radius, FW is the roll force, E the
Youngs modulus of the rolls, b the width and h the
reduction, can be used only when the roll deformation
is small. In the following 20 years numerous works
have been devoted to include an influence function

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online process modelling techniques are not

frequently employed, either because they are not
available or are considered unnecessary.
To further reduce unacceptable strip dimensions it is
vital to improve setup procedures by adding
appropriate models to the automation structure of
such mills. VAI has investigated new offline and online
modelling approaches to predict rolling force, rollflattening behaviour and roughness transfer in order
to improve the setup of skin-pass and temper mills.
While conventional models assume the shape of the
roll gap to be circular, this assumption no longer
holds true for temper rolling. To calculate the precise
roll force, the pressure distribution in the roll gap is
VAI has developed and implemented sophisticated
algorithms in cooperation with the University of Linz,
the steel producer voestalpine Stahl and the Industrial
Competence Center for Mechatronic & Automation
(IKMA). These algorithms are the basis for setup
models that allow online calculation within a short
period of time (Figure 8).
The existing well-known roll-gap models developed
for hot and cold rolling, skin-pass, temper rolling and
foil rolling can be divided in three parts. Classical
models (before Fleck), thin-gauge models (Flecks
model) and improvements of thin-gauge models.
The most influencial work was done in the late
1980s by Fleck and Johnson [NA Fleck, KL
Johnson, Towards a new theory of cold rolling thin
foil. Int. J. Mech. Sci., Vol. 29, No. 7, pp507524,
Classical models One of the most comprehensive
one-dimensional studies that covers hot and cold
rolling was developed by Orowan, but the equations
developed there do not allow analytical solution for
pressure distribution. [E Orowan, The calculation of
roll pressure in hot and cold flat rolling. Proceedings
of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Vol. 150,
pp140167, (1948)]. Therefore, there have been
attempts to make additional suggestions in order to
simplify the Orowan equation and to get some
approximate solutions, such as the model developed
by Bland and Ford [ DR Bland, H Ford, The calculation
of roll force and torque in cold strip rolling with
tensions, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. 159, pp148153,
The model of Karman [TH v Karman, ZAMM 2,
pp.139141, (1925)], was developed along the
same lines as that of Orowan but uses some
additional suggestions and is a simplified variant of
Orowans model.
In all these models the equation of equilibrium in
the longitudinal direction for plastically deformed
material in the roll gap is derived. The elastic
deformation of the rolls is neglected or it is assumed
that the deformed profile of the rolls remained a



Figure 8 New materials need new models

applied becomes redundant. The contact pressure

remains as the basic unknown, but is now independent
of the strip material behaviour in that part of the roll
bite, and as such is only dependent on the elastic
properties of the roll material. Unfortunately, as well as
the contact pressure, the length of this super-flattened
region is also unknown and must be found iteratively
by quite complex procedures.
The main structure of such a model is as follows:
the contact length between strip and roll is divided
into five zones in which the classical Orowan
equilibrium equation and the Treca yield criterion are
applied to the plastic reduction zones on entry and
exit (before and after the contained plastic flow zone).
The associated surface friction is described by the
Coulomb (sliding) criteria. Elastic compression (entry)
and elastic recovery (exit) zones are taken into
account by the equations of plane strain elasticity
theory. Further compatibility conditions have to be
imposed on the interfaces of these regions to ensure
continuity of the contact pressure from one region to
the other. In all zones, except the central flat region,
the deformed roll shape is calculated by a Green (or
influence) function of type:
a20 - x2
+ const p()ln

b(x)= b0 -

Figure 9 Deformation zones in the roll gap (Fleck neglected the

elastic zones)

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describing the roll deformation into standard

equilibrium equations of Orowan, but without success;
mostly due to a convergence problem in the vicinity of
neutral point where roll pressure peak occurs.


Thin-gauge models
In 1987, Fleck and Johnson published a theory for
cold rolling of thin foils that was an entirely new
approach to this subject. They were able to present a
theory that basically omitted the use of simplifying
presumptions on roll-flattening geometry, which for
older models can be considered as the main reason
for failure when applied to thin-gauge rolling.
In addition to the elastic and plastic zones upon
entry and exit to the roll bite, a key element was to
also introduce an intermediate zone called contained
plastic flow zone (Figure 9).
This approach takes into account the fact that the
work rolls can suffer extreme flattening in an
intermediate part of the contact region which, as an
upper limit, includes an infinite deformed roll radius,
yielding a flat roll surface parallel to the strip middle
plane. Since the flattened roll geometry is now
prescribed, the usual iteration to find a deformed roll
shape associated with a certain contact pressure

Since this complex type of function includes a

variable lower limit, expressed by the parameter a0
which is also part of the integrand, the solution of the
overall equilibrium equation can suffer considerable
convergence problems. These iterations also include
the adjustment of the transition positions from one
zone to the other, which have to be somehow
estimated at the start.
Whether five regions along the contact length
actually exist will depend on the rolling case under
consideration. This means the existence and physical
length of the central flat region must be found
during the equilibrium iteration, which can add
significantly to the solution time required. The
apparent feature of the model is that the physical
behaviour inside the roll gap is very close to reality,
which is documented by various excellent results in
the literature obtained by offline calculations. [NA
Fleck, KL Johnson, ME Mear, LC Zhang, Cold rolling
of foil. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical
Engineers. Vol. 206, pp119131, (1992)].
The quite stringent demands on solution time and
stability, however, still remain an obstacle for using
this model without further simplifications (and also
for online models).
Improvements on thin-gauge models
A large number of papers published during the past
ten years dealt with the subject of how to improve


Figure 10 Equivalent plastic strain plotted with colours (Blue = low

value, Red = high value). Viewed from a cross-section of the strip
after stamping with the textured roll surface

Figure 11 Hodograph example

case. This can be regarded as a quite promising

approach with respect to an online use in temper
New VAI model
The models developed by VAI are based on the Fleck
theory but also take advantage of the approach
described by Le and Sutcliffe by omitting the
contained plastic flow region on the roll gap. A quite
extended offline version of this model includes a) the
contained plastic flow region and b) the roll flattening
contribution caused by roll-strip interface shear
stresses. The computation times achieved so far,
however, would not allow the model to be used
Nevertheless, the offline version enabled the
release of some of the time-consuming assumptions
for an online model. It could be shown that very
similar results to those obtained by Le and Sutcliffe,
were obtained, in that the omission of the flat region
is possible, for more than 95 per cent of the temper
rolling cases of steel sheet material down to 0.2 mm
of exit thickness.
Consequently, advantage was taken from this
perception in the online version, which drastically

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the solution stability and shorten the required

computation time of the basic thin-gauge model
outlined above. Different attempts have been made
to improve the convergence, as well as to provide
smart re-formulations of some of the governing
equations. Since convergence is strongly influenced
by how the roll flattening is described, the use of
other types of influence functions was investigated.
[D Jortner, JF Osterle, CF Zorowski, An analysis of
cold strip rolling. Int. J. Mech. Sci., Vol. 2,
pp179194, (1960)].
By combination with more refined calculation
procedures, ie, the finite element (FE) method based
with strong relaxation laws [P Gratacos, P
Montmitonnet, C Fromholz, JL Chenot, A plane-strain
elestoplastic finite-element model for cold rolling of
thin strip. Int. J. Mech. Sci., Vol. 34, No.3,
pp195210, (1992)], or slab method-based, the
convergence stability was improved significantly.
However, depending on the degrees of freedom
used in such models, the computation time can still be
considerable. On more refined FE models [A
Hacquin, P Montmitonnet, JP Guillerault, A threedimensional semi-analytical model of rolling stand
deformation with finite element validation. European
J. of Mechanics, A/Solids, Vol. 17, pp79106,
(1998)], computation times of between 1 and 5 hours
have been reported, including between 100 and
2000 iterations very much dependent on the strip
material and applied pass reduction used in the
simulation (the harder the material and smaller the
reduction, the longer the computation time).
Interesting results have been obtained, as for
instance reported in the work of Domanti et al. [SA
Domanti, WJ Edwards, Interactions between roll
surface and cold rolling parameters. 2nd
International Conference on Modelling of Metal
Rolling Processes (1996)].
The model described is based on the Fleck theory,
but introduces a number of enhancements that
improved the convergence stability and greatly
reduced the computation time.
Also Zhang [LC Zhang, A simple approach for
cold rolling foil, computational mechanics from
concepts to computations. Southampton: AA
Bakema Publishers, pp283286, (1993)], was able
to reduce computation time significantly by using a
different friction law for the strip-roll interface. This
model, however, did not reproduce the results
obtained by Fleck et al, within the required accuracy
values. A recent paper by Le and Sutcliffe [HR Le,
MPF Sutcliffe, A robust model for rolling of thin strip
and foil. Int. Journal of Mechanical Sciences. Vol.
43, pp.14051419, (2001)], made the assumption
that the flat (contained plastic flow) region in the roll
gap was superfluous, without losing too much of the
accuracy required to describe the thin-gauge rolling



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Figure 12 2-stand skin-pass mill


reduced the computation time. It has also been seen

that the effect of interface shear stress on roll
deformation cannot be neglected completely.
However, this was implemented by some basic
analytical work without adding too much
computational burden.
The online model hence includes only three zones
along the contact length: an elastic compression zone
on entry, a plastic compression and reduction zone
containing the neutral region of contact where the
strip sticks to the roll surface, and an elastic recovery
zone on exit to the roll bite. Important for temper
rolling (a non-circular arc formulation here is
indispensable) is that the model can reproduce,
whenever necessary, the extension of a neutral point
into a neutral region. This has considerable impact on
the accuracy of the predicted rolling forces and hence
is vital for a proper mill setup.
A new effect taken into account is the tangentialinduced deformation of the roll, which becomes more
important as the strip becomes thinner and harder. In
common non-circular arc models the roll is allowed to
displace in the radial direction only. In reality there is
also a deformation caused by the interface shear
stresses. When omitting the assumption of a
predefined flat region in the roll gap, the shear stressinduced roll deformation mainly derives the existence
of neutral zone instead of having only one single
neutral point. The formulae describing this
phenomenon in general were derived semianalytically, which has the advantage of having
respective displacement derivatives available without
a numerical burden.
A second effect taken into account for temper
rolling is related to the deformation work balance in
and on the interface planes of the roll gap. In temper
rolling the work rolls are roughened to provide a
desired roughness on the strip surface for various
purposes. The amount of deformation work required
to generate the impressions (craters) in the strip

surface has to considered in the roll-force calculation

in order to obtain reliable dependence of the roll
force on roll roughness (which usually is done by
modifying the coefficient of friction to meet an
observed roll force). This effect becomes more
important as the strip gets thinner because the area
(or volume) of influence inside the total strip crosssection seen in the rolling direction considerably
increases. Figure 10 shows an example obtained by
FE calculations and the equivalent plastic strain
distribution in a strip specimen close to the strip
surface. The equivalent plastic strain in conjunction
with the corresponding stresses can be used as
measure for the deformation work required to stamp
the strip surface by a roughness peak from the workroll surface. When knowing the roughness distribution
of the textured work roll (Ra, Rz and PC values are
used), one can predict the total amount of work and
hence make respective correction in the roll force
The path of the tool stamping into the strip surface
(a roughness peak on the roll surface), can be plotted
as a so-called Hodograph (Figure 11). The shape of
this path depends on strip thickness, reduction,
rolling speed, roll radius and friction conditions and
allows investigation and classification of the process
of roughness transfer. [F Rechberger, Dressieren als
kombinierter Prge- und Walzvorgang, Doctoral
Thesis at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Faculty
of Mechatronics, (2001)].
Further work on this topic has to be done in order
to fully understand the mechanisms and governing
laws of roughness transfer. Beside a closed-loop
control strategy, the useful implementation of which
very much depends on the accuracy of online
measured roughness, data from the strip surface, a
proper roughness evolution model for setup
purposes is the main objective behind this work.
The implementation of the new temper rolling model
in conjunction with a roll-stack model into a level-2


2-stand skin-pass technology

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on 2stand skin-pass technology for sheet material. This
technology enables independent control of
elongation and roughness transfer. In conjunction
with advanced surface texturing patterns, this is
becoming increasingly important for highest-quality
sheet applications in the automotive and appliance
In single-stand configurations maintaining
constant material properties and uniform surface
roughness is difficult, as both are mainly influenced
by the roll force.
This new mill concept is being realised by VAI
together with SALZGITTER AG in Germany (Figure
12). An optimised mechanical setup, coupled with an
advanced control strategy, enables this mill to process
the entire product range from micro-alloyed, highstrength to extra soft, extra deep drawing quality
(EDDQ) steel grades. This high-performance mill,
including material handling, threading and the rolling
process, operates fully automatically.
Key design features include:
Shape-meter roll at mill exit for flatness control
Laser speedmeter at mill entry, interstand and mill
exit for elongation control
Online roughness measurement at mill exit
Entry bridle with tension measurement cells,
interstand tension measurement roll and
shapemeter roll with tension measurement cells for
strip tension measurement
X-ray gauge at mill exit
Online surface inspection.
Key operational aspects include:
Rolling operation with very small rolling forces (300
kN per mill stand) for interstitial-free (IF) steel grades
Rolling operation with very large rolling forces

(16,000 kN per mill stand) for IF and micro-alloyed

steel grades
Rolling with only one mill stand is possible.
Mixed operation modes:
> Dry skin-pass rolling on one mill stand and wet
skin-passing on the other mill stand
> Smooth or textured (sand blasted, electro-beam,
or electro-discharge textured) work rolls can be used
on one or both stands
Rewinding operation with installed or removed
work rolls on one or on both mill stands in forward
and reverse direction.
Concluding remarks
On the basis of VAI R&D and implementation
activities in the field of temper and skin-pass rolling,
the following conclusions can be made:
Wet-skin passing can be fully substituted by dry-skin
passing for uncoated material
Ever increasing production demands require a lowfriction mill with high technological standards and
the need of a wide adjustment range for elongation
and flatness control
SmartCrown represents an ideal solution for the
stringent flatness requirements of a modern skinpass mill
New models for new materials must consider the
roll deformation more accurately and the stamping
effect for roughness transfer.
Part of the development work was sponsored by the
joint venture IKMA (Industrial Competence Center for
Mechatronics & Automation). The authors wish to
express their grateful acknowledgement for this
support to IKMA, the local government of Upper
Austria and the Republic of Austria.
Gerhard Finstermann is Vice President Cold Band,
Gregor Nopp is Head of Proposals/Engineering Cold
Rolling Mills, Norman Eisenkck is Project Manager,
Technology Cold Rolling and Georg Keintzel is Project
Manager Technological Controls, Automation, all at
VOEST-ALPINE Industrieanlagenbau GmbH & Co
(VAI), Linz, Austria.

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environment, also allows the application of powerful

process controls for setup on temper mills. This is a
major step forward to achieve highest quality demands
on tempered and skin-passed sheet material in a
reproducible manner, and will substantially contribute
to reduce yield losses on high value added material.