Oxide scale behaviour in thermomechanical processing has been the subject of intensive research for several years that allowed developing a finite element (FE) based model to simulate a range of events of relevance to the process and the surface quality of the hot rolled product. A range of experimental techniques have also been developed, each providing a partial insight. An overview of this research is presented in the sequence of rolling and finishing with descaling. The model has been extended to provide the basis for detailed numerical investigations of the roll/stock interface behaviour during multi-pass hot rolling operations. The modelling techniques have been used for providing design criteria for AISI430 ferritic stainless steel scale failure during bending. Modelling of near surface deformation during rolling of aluminium alloys is under consideration.