In this study, effects of different deformation conditions on the rolling force were studied during variable gauge rolling processes. To this end, variations of rolling forces with rolling times were analyzed at different roll diameters, absolute thickness reductions and friction coefficients. Considering the rolling force variations, an abrupt change in the outlet section of downward and outward rolling was observed at all deformation conditions. The experimental data, along with the results obtained from finite element method (FEM) simulations, revealed that this drop in the rolling force (DRF) is strongly dependent on the deformation conditions. It was found that the DRF value increases with increasing absolute thickness reduction, roll diameter and friction coefficient. Furthermore, dependency of contact length on the roll radius and wedge angle (slope of the thickness transition zone) was investigated. Accordingly, it was concluded that the variations of the DRF value can be mainly attributed to the changes in the contact length during variable gauge rolling. Moreover, slab method analysis was used to model the effects of deformation conditions on DRF.
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