Continuously Variable Crown (CVC) shifting mechanisms represent a control technology with wide range of capability to influence the thickness profile and flatness (shape) of metal strip and sheet in rolling-type manufacturing processes. Further, because of the efficiency and extensive control capability to operate on thin-gauge, high-strength ferrous alloys, the 6-high mill with CVC profiles machined onto the intermediate rolls (IR) represents a popular mill configuration. This is because of the large control range for the strip thickness profile and flatness, which results from lateral shifting of the CVC intermediate rolls. However, together with this efficiency and capability comes very complex contact behaviors between the rolls and strip, including highly non-linear contact force distribution, loss of contact, asymmetric roll wear, unwanted strip wedge profiles, and the need to apply corrective roll tilting. Therefore, for most effective industry use of 6-high mills with intermediate roll CVC shifting, a rapid and accurate mathematical rolling model is needed to predict and account for these complex contact behaviors. This paper introduces an efficient roll-stack computational model capable of simulating such rolling mills under steady-state conditions. The model formulation applies the simplified mixed finite element method (SM-FEM), which is adapted to simulate asymmetric 6-high CVC mill contact behaviors. Results for a specific case study compare favorably to those obtained from a large-scale commercial finite element simulation, yet require a small fraction of the associated computational time and effort.

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