Roll formers can inhibit seaming

Ewald Stellrecht has been building seamers for standing seam metal roofing installers since 1976. Some time ago, he started hearing complaints from customers who had trouble seaming panels. Coincidentally, these complaints were only coming from customers who were not running panels on an ESE Machines roll former.

By looking at a cross section of the troublesome panels, Stellrecht discovered panel manufacturers were making the male leg shorter than the female leg so it would fit underneath. The measurements of the male leg made it impossible to properly seam the panels. “And those numbers are out there everywhere,” Stellrecht says. “They have been for a long time. They’ve been building the male leg shorter for years.”

A short male leg creates a gap between the top of the male leg and the female leg that inhibits proper seaming. It also allows the female leg to sit flush on the deck, not allowing space for a cleat.

Stellrecht has discussed this problem with several machine manufacturers. He says with machines manufactured with offset rollers, it’s relatively easy to adjust. Some owners of portable roll formers may have discovered the problem and made the adjustment themselves. Machines that manufacture panels with solid rollers that are not adjustable may require new tooling.

“We’ve made our machines with offset capability for a long, long time,” Stellrecht says. He says to properly install standing seam panels, rollers have to be adjusted when dealing with underlayments of different thicknesses. Another example Stellrecht cites is in application of standing seam roofing to metal purlins with self-drilling metal screws — the male leg has to be made longer because the female leg is sitting up on top of the head of the screw.

These illustrations are from ESE’s website at which features a Need To Know section on the Resource page.

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