Metal spinning has evolved significantly over the years. Though the concept remains the same, modern equipment and advanced technology have transformed the process into a more viable and affordable option for the manufacturing industry.
What Is Metal Spinning?
is known by many names, such as spin forming, spinning, and metal turning. Regardless of the name used, it is a metal forming process which rotates a tube or disc of metal at a high rate of speed to produce hollow objects or components. A common factor in these hollow objects is their typically circular cross section.
The best uses of metal spinning include creating prototypes and manufacturing parts which require high internal and external pressures.
Traditional Metal Spinning Process
The basic concepts of the metal spinning process have not changed a great deal since spinning was first introduced as a manufacturing tool. The essential steps include:
- Mounting a mandrel chuck on the headstock of the lathe.
- Mounting a follower block to the tailstock.
- Clamping of a circular blank by advancing the follower.
- Pressure is applied to the blank via a roller or other forming tool on the lever arms, using the tool rest and pin to provide scissor-like support and leverage to the lever arms.
- The roller moves across the blank in a series of passes until it forms the completed part.
Modernization of Metal Spinning
Manual metal spinning, which came to North America in the early 1800s, has evolved into a more modern process. The technological advances of our modern age have combined to automate the process, making it faster and improving repeatability. As such, automation has made metal spinning an even more reliable and cost-effective manufacturing option.
Automated metal spinning makes use of computer numerical control (CNC) in place of hand spinning. CNC is a method of subtractive manufacturing technology, which follows a computer aided design (CAD) model along with a variety of cutting tools to remove material from a blank in order to produce the desired component. The major advantages of CNC spinning over hand spinning include:
- Higher level of accuracy and consistency over an entire production run
- The mitigation of human error risks through the autonomy of CNC machining and reduced touches.
- The necessity of fewer personnel for high capacity production runs
- 24/7 operation using machines, which cuts back on manpower and operating costs.
Besides these advantages, CNC metal spinning allows for the turning of a broader range of materials than hand spinning, including less malleable materials. The materials formed using CNC spinning include:
This broad range of metals allows for a wider variety of manufacturing options and broadens the range of potential industrial applications which the process might serve. With CNC providing a more cost-effective option for producing parts, along with greater accuracy and consistency, it makes good business sense to incorporate it into your fabrication process when relevant to your design.
Metal Craft specializes in the manufacturing of metal components of all shapes and sizes utilizing the metal spinning process. Contact our engineering department today to see how we can assist you in completing your project with metal spinning.