Category Archive: Uncategorized

Aluminum vs. Steel

Steel and aluminum are materials found in virtually every industry for a variety of industrial and consumer products. While they look similar, there are considerable differences between the two. In this blog, we’ll discuss both materials and their differences to help you determine the best one for your application.

Strength and Malleability

Aluminum is more elastic and ductile, allowing it to be bent, extruded, or stretched without cracking or breaking. It increases strength in colder environments, although it is susceptible to dents and scratches. In contrast, steel is tough and resilient but has the added risks of rust and corrosion, as well as cracking or ripping during spinning due to reduced malleability and ductility. However, it is a much harder and more durable material than aluminum, making it resistant to bending or warping from heat, weight, or force, or heat.

Weight

Aluminum vs Steel
Aluminum vs. steel weight is a significant determinant in which material is preferable for applications where every extra pound can decrease speed, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency. In those applications, aluminum is clearly superior as it is lightweight, easy to handle, and less expensive to ship. When durability is the primary concern, the weight of steel makes it the optimal choice due to the high concentration of carbon that results in 5x the weight and density of aluminum. However, shape and structural rigidity are other significant factors in the strength of a material, making aluminum a viable option at half the weight of steel.

Corrosion Resistance

Aluminum reigns supreme for corrosion resistance without additional treatments for protection after being extruded due to a naturally occurring oxide film that is an inhibitor to rust. Various optional finishes can enhance aluminum’s aesthetic appeal, such as brushing, painting, powder coating, anodizing, painting, media blasting, polishing, or chemical washing. In contrast, steel must be treated or painted to get the same level of protection from rust and corrosion. If steel is required for applications exposed to moisture, humidity, or abrasion, it must be treated appropriately to keep it from degrading.

Cost

When comparing stainless steel vs. aluminum cost, steel is frequently less expensive per pound than aluminum. However, the price of metals fluctuates constantly depending on fuel costs, price and availability of bauxite ore and iron, and global supply and demand. The price of steel can also depend upon the type. Carbon steel and mild steel are generally less expensive, while the cost of stainless steel can exceed that of aluminum.

Quality Services From Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

There is no one winner when comparing aluminum vs. steel. They each have beneficial qualities that make them highly desirable and widely used across numerous industries and applications. Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has over half a century of experience supplying hundreds of customers across North America with accurate, dependable services for both aluminum and steel, including stamping, metal spinning, hydroforming, and waterjet cutting services. We use cutting-edge technology and equipment along with a company-wide dedication to quality.

Contact us today to discuss your needs or for questions about our services and capabilities. Get pricing by submitting a quote request with a few details about your project.

Venturi Valve: What You Need to Know

What Is a Venturi Valve?

venturi valveA venturi valve is an hourglass-shaped tube, with either end of the valve having a wider diameter than the narrowed center. Inside the valve is a cone that moves parallel to the body of the valve. As pressure within the valve changes, the cone moves forward or backward to modify flow rates through the valve assembly. 

Venturi valves are specifically designed to provide flow regulation in response to pressure changes. HVAC ducts use venturi valves as airflow control valves to regulate and maintain airflow through the system. Unlike other methods, the venturi valve independently regulates airflow in response to changes in static pressure, without the need for communication between system components. The independence and fine control offered by venturi valves makes them ideal for maintaining both constant and variable airflow based on external conditions.

Venturi Valve Options

Venturi Valve
Venturi valves are available in a variety of factory-programmed calibrations to meet the specific requirements of numerous applications. They can be composed of a wide range of materials, including aluminum and steel, and are often treated or coated to enhance strength, chemical resistance, and corrosion resistance. Thermal insulation can also be added to the valve to reduce thermal loss and increase energy savings. Numerous valve flow designs are available depending on the needs of your application. 

Constant and actuated valves are the two most common venturi valve designs. Constant volume venturi valves are engineered to provide a steady flow of air or fluid through the valve, regardless of duct pressure fluctuations. They are best suited for outdoor airflow regulation, ventilated cabinets, and biological safety cabinets. Actuated valves are typically used in dynamic systems where quick valve operation is critical. They use a cone situated on top of a shaft to restrict the flow of air through the valve opening to ensure consistent control. 

Advantages of Venturi Valves

Venturi valves offer a variety of benefits for a wide range of applications and industries, including hospitals, universities, biological safety cabinets, and laboratories. They are incorporated into ventilation and HVAC systems to provide consistent, accurate control of pressure, temperature, and airflow.

Venturi valves are highly sensitive and operate independently, making them quick to respond and reducing the need for extensive room pressurization testing. They react extremely quickly to signals, making them perfect for sensitive operations in labs and ventilated cabinets. 

Some venturi valve designs incorporate full shutoffs, which will keep the valve closed when not in operation in order to save energy. This energy efficiency is compounded by thermal insulation, which reduces thermal loss. 

Why Partner with Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping?

Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is a premier manufacturer of quality HVAC system components, including venturi valves. Our state-of-the-art metal spinning manufacturing process allows us to create highly durable, long-lasting components that can withstand even the most extreme operating conditions. We are pleased to offer venturi valves in a wide range of materials, including aluminum, cold-rolled steel, and stainless steel, and we are capable of providing custom manufactured valves in a wide range of sizes. 

In addition to our exceptional metal spinning techniques, we use laser cutting technology to enhance your product quality. Using cutting-edge laser technology, we ensure highly accurate, symmetrical fan housings for optimal valve operation. With decades of experience, we understand the unique complexity of venturi valves, and we ensure highly effective, durable designs based on customer requirements and specifications.

Contact the Experts at Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

Since 1964, Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping has been pleased to offer a wide range of metal manufacturing services, including metal stamping and spinning, hydroforming, waterjet cutting, and engineering. We pride ourselves on producing quality products and components for customers in every industry, from architecture and industrial installations to HVAC systems, lighting fixtures, and even furniture. To learn more about our venturi valves and other products and services, contact us today or request a quote to start your order.

Why Should I Use CNC Waterjet Cutting?

CNC Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet cutting is a fabrication process that utilizes high-pressure streams of water (i.e., water jets) to cut materials into the desired shape and size. It can be categorized into two primary methods: pure waterjet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting. Pure waterjet cutting uses water jets with no added media. It is typically employed for cutting softer, non-metallic materials, such as plastic, rubber, and foam. Abrasive waterjet cutting use waterjets with added abrasive particles. It is suitable for cutting harder materials, such as metals, glass, and stone. 

While both waterjet cutting methods offer distinct advantages that make them suitable for particular applications, waterjet cutting, in general, can be used for a wide range of manufacturing projects, especially when integrated with computer numerical control (CNC) technology. Below, we highlight the advantages of CNC waterjet cutting. 

Advantages of CNC Waterjet Cutting

There are many advantages to using CNC waterjet cutting over other cutting processes. For example: 

  • It offers broad material suitability. CNC waterjet cutters can cut through virtually any material used in general fabrication operations. 
  • It carries no risk of human error. Since CNC waterjet cutters are preprogrammed, there is minimal risk of a cutting operation proceeding incorrectly unless there is a programming error or machine malfunction. 
  • It produces precise and accurate cuts. Compared to manual cutting operations, CNC waterjet cutting offers greater cutting precision and accuracy. It can consistently produce net-shape or near-net-shape parts from piece to piece and batch to batch. As a result, it decreases the need for any secondary procession operations to bring the parts to spec. 
  • It accommodates complex shapes. CNC waterjet cutters can create highly complex three-dimensional shapes that would be impossible to produce using manual cutting machines. 
  • It leaves no heat-affected zone (HAZ). As a cold cutting process, waterjet cutting does not generate significant amounts of heat, which reduces the risk of heat-related issues like thermal distortion or hardened edges. This quality is advantageous for components with exacting requirements. 
  • It requires minimal fixturing. Waterjet cutters require minimal workpiece fixturing, which shortens setup time and reduces equipment costs for cutting operations.
  • It creates little to no waste. The waterjet cutting process generates little to no hazardous waste and accommodates water recycling through the use of closed-loop systems. Together, these qualities reduce waste generation and disposal costs. Additionally, since the process can achieve smaller cutting kerfs and higher cutting precision, individual parts can be placed closer together, allowing manufacturers to maximize the material utilization to waste generation ratio.
  • It is safe for machine operators. Waterjet cutting does not produce any dust or hazardous gases that can negatively affect operator health. 

Waterjet Cutting Solutions at Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

Looking for a waterjet cutting service provider for your next manufacturing project? Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is the ideal partner. We’ve provided metal fabrication services for over 50 years. This extensive experience, combined with our state-of-the-art equipment, gives us the knowledge, skills, and tools we need to deliver high-quality metal components that fully meet your specifications and standards. Whether you require assistance with waterjet cutting or another manufacturing process, we’ve got you covered! 

For a waterjet cutting partner committed to quality, on-time delivery, and personalized customer service, contact us today.

Copper Post Cap Production and Applications

Copper Post CapsWooden decks and fencing need to be protected from the elements to keep them rot-free for extended periods of time. To achieve this, fitted caps can be installed on the top of posts in order to preserve them. While these caps can be produced from many materials, copper is a particularly long-lasting and attractive choice.

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, we offer copper post caps designed to enhance the architectural features of your home or building while preventing wood rot. As a cost-effective protection option, our copper post caps are simple to install, and they are compatible with most post sizes. Copper post caps offer many benefits, making them useful in a wide range of applications. 

Copper: A Smart Choice in Post Cap Production

Copper is a widely used alloy, and its beautiful appearance has led it to become particularly popular in decorative applications. Additionally, its excellent ability to conduct heat and electricity along with its high resistance to corrosion and good formability has allowed it to be used in many industries, with applications in roofing, lighting, and electronics. 

One significant attribute of copper is that it can be remelted and used again without losing any of its chemical or physical properties. This has led it to be one of the most widely recycled metals. Copper can also be combined with other metals to form alloys, with the two most common copper alloys being brass and bronze.

How Post Caps Are Made

When producing copper post caps, the first step is to specify the required size and decide on which design elements the finished product will have. Next, metal stamping and spinning processes shape flat metal into the desired post cap shape. Metal spinning can be used to create products from 1 inch to 8 inches in diameter, while metal stamping is used to create many shapes and features. 

Spinning and stamping are both cost-effective processes with quick production times that lead to a weld-free, smooth finished product. Whether you require high or low volume production, Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping can manufacture the metal components you need. If you need help selecting the best metal forming technique for your application, our experts are here to assist you with every step of the process. 

Copper Post Cap Applications

Copper post caps are not only decorative features that add to the beauty of your property, but they’re also an extremely important protective asset for your posts. Properly capped posts remain in good condition for years, saving you lots of money on the cost of replacement. Post caps can be produced according to nearly any design plan to match your personal taste and style preferences. 

There are many possible applications for copper post caps including: 

  • Marine decks
  • Yard decks
  • Rail posts
  • Fences
  • Mailboxes
  • Arbors
  • Gates
  • Lampposts

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping delivers custom-fitted post caps according to the specific measurements and design ideas of your project. Whatever your application, our team of metal-forming specialists will deliver accurately fabricated pieces. 

Copper Post Caps from Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

If you’re considering adding copper caps to beautify and preserve your fence or deck posts, Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has a cost-effective custom design solution that will meet all of your needs. Copper in particular provides a sophisticated look that will continue to shine well into the future. For more information about our copper post caps, or to get started on your next project, contact us today.

The Value of a Custom Metal Spinning and Stamping Partner for Commercial and Industrial Lighting Needs

Lighting is a critical element of industrial and commercial facilities. In addition to illuminating working and living spaces, it is used to encourage purchasing behaviors in consumers, establish conditions that boost employee alertness, morale, and productivity, and create areas within facilities that are both functional and aesthetic. The design, configuration, and luminescence level of a lighting system are generally tailored to accommodate the unique requirements and restrictions of the specific application.Commercial Lighting

The following article outlines the differences between the lighting systems used in commercial and industrial facilities with regard to the applications in which they are used. It also provides an overview of the custom lighting products and engineering capabilities available at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping.

Commercial Lighting Applications vs. Industrial Lighting Applications

Industrial Lighting As indicated above, lighting systems are used in commercial and industrial environments. While commercial and industrial lighting systems consist of the basic same components, they are used in different types of facilities for different purposes. For example, in the commercial sector, lighting systems are often used in the following facilities for the following purposes:

  • Government institutions to brighten areas highly trafficked areas such as lobbies, hallways, and halls
  • Hospitals to improve employee visibility during delicate procedures and ensure personnel remain awake and alert
  • Offices to keep employees alert and encourage productivity
  • Retail stores to create bright and inviting environments for customers
  • Roads and sidewalks to improve visibility for drivers and walkers
  • Schools, colleges, and universities to provide lighting conditions that improve the functional and aesthetic qualities of the various areas

In the industrial sector, lighting systems are often found in the following types of facilities:

  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Ethanol plants
  • Grain processing/storage locations
  • Inspection/defect detection areas
  • Loading/unloading areas such as loading docks
  • Manufacturing and warehousing facilities
  • Marine locations such as coastal facilities, oil rigs, and ships and shipyards
  • Mines
  • Outdoor stadiums, arenas, and sports fields
  • Paint/power/blast booth facilities
  • Petrochemical plants
  • Pulp/paper mills
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants
  • Wet/damp areas such as elevator pits, food and beverage processing plants, and wash bays
  • Woodworking shops

Custom Lighting Products at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, we specialize in manufacturing custom metal components for customers across a wide range of industries. We’ve produced lighting fixtures and lighting reflectors for industrial and commercial lighting systems for over 50 years. This extensive experience, combined with our state-of-the-art metalworking equipment, allows us to deliver solutions for highly specific or unique lighting applications.

Metal Spinning Lighting

While we generally use aluminum for our lighting components due to its light material weight and reflective surface, we can also accommodate brass, copper, stainless steel, and cold-rolled steel. We also offer plating, anodizing, and metalizing services to customize the lighting fixture or reflector to meet the customer’s exact needs.

Engineering Capabilities at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

Equipped with several years of industry experience, our engineering experts have the knowledge and skills to help customers bring their lighting concepts to life. Our engineering capabilities include:

  • Design assistance. We provide advice and support throughout the design process to ensure the final product meets your needs. We accept a number of different file formats to make it easy for you to submit your designs.
  • Reverse engineering. If you have a preexisting design or product, we can reverse engineer the design so you can modify or refine it to better suit your current specifications and standards and/or reduce production costs.
  • Value engineering. Upon request, our engineering team can evaluate your existing products and services to determine whether it could and should be optimized to improve functionality and/or production and operating costs.

Custom Industrial and Commercial Lighting Solutions at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

If you need custom metal components for your industrial or commercial lighting system, Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping is here to help. Equipped with decades of metalworking experience, we can produce lighting fixtures and reflectors in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit nearly any lighting system. To learn more about our manufacturing capabilities for lighting systems or discuss your application requirements with one of our experts, contact us today.

What Makes a Great Waterjet Cutter

Waterjet cutting is a modern fabrication method that uses high-speed, high-pressure streams of water to cut material into a desired shape. It is a versatile process used to cut everything from foam and rubber to steel alloy and titanium. With the addition of garnet or other abrasives, waterjets can cut increasingly harder and more durable materials with ease. In fact, waterjets are often designed with nozzles that toggle between abrasive and water-only cutting. These specialized nozzles allow users to alternate quickly from one to the other and work on a variety of materials with minimal downtime between runs. 

Although the process is fundamentally the same, not every waterjet cutter is ideal for all applications. At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, we go through an extensive vetting process to ensure we have the right cutter for every job. Here’s a look at the behind-the-scenes work that goes into our waterjet cutting services.

What Is a Waterjet Cutter?

Waterjet CutterA waterjet cutter is a computerized system that directs high-velocity, high-density jets of water to cleanly and accurately cut a broad range of materials, including rubber, stone, metal, plastic composites, and more. The water emitted by a waterjet can exert up to 392 MPa of force, and operators can adjust the velocity, pressure, and width to cut with exceptional precision. Specialty spray nozzles are as small as 0.1 mm in diameter—about the same size as a sharp pencil point.

What Makes a Good Waterjet Cutter?

When we purchase a waterjet cutter, we consider the following factors:

  • Work Environment: High-production and 3D cutters are typically 8 x 16 ft or larger. Our facility has been carefully designed to accommodate the best-performing industrial equipment onsite, so our clients don’t need to allocate a dedicated space for housing units within their organization.
  • Accuracy and Repeatability: Precision is a key hallmark of a good waterjet cutter. Our waterjet cutters meet high standards for accuracy and repeatability to help our customers avoid secondary processing operations.
  • Waterjet Pressure: The waterjet pressure capacity determines which materials the machine can fabricate. If we need to cut soft materials like foam or rubber, a lower pressure may be acceptable, but for hard materials like metal and ceramic, we use cutter settings and equipment with higher pressure capabilities.
  • Cutting Speed: The best nozzle for any given application depends on the material and production speed requirements. A small nozzle with low horsepower will cut materials slower than a large, high-powered nozzle. Compared to other fabrication methods, waterjet cutting usually works the fastest, especially when it comes to materials with a hard Mohs-scale rating.
  • Energy Requirements: Cutters that operate at higher horsepower will use more energy, while lower-pressure cutters require less. As an all-in-one metal fabrication and stamping facility, we’ve optimized our system to handle the energy demand with ease. 
  • Versatility: At Metal Craft, we offer custom waterjet cutting services, which means our equipment must be versatile to suit many applications. 

Here are a few of the most common shapes we produce: 

  • Dished
  • Domed
  • Flanged
  • Hemisphere
  • Semi-elliptical
  • Trumpet

We can also create any combination or variation of these designs and serve customers with small- and large-scale production sizes.

2D vs. 3D Waterjet Cutter

Waterjet cutters are available with both 2D- and 3D-cutting heads. 2D systems are designed to cut at an angle perpendicular to the base material. They can operate on X, Y, and Z axes using both abrasive and non-abrasive waterjets. 2D abrasive waterjet cutting heads are typically used for hard and thick materials, while 2D water-only heads can be used to create fine cuts on thin, soft materials, like plastic, rubber, and fabric. 

3D waterjet cutting systems, on the other hand, operate on a wider range of angles and are used for more intricate pieces. They are available with both abrasive and non-abrasive heads and can be used on a variety of materials. Since 3D cutters can operate from any angle around the workpiece, fabricators must enact strict safety measures to prevent accidents. At Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping, we take pride in our fourth-generation family business and prioritize a safe work environment. 

Superior Waterjet Cutting Services From Metal Craft

Since 1969, Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping has been the premier provider of top-quality metal cutting services. From metal spinning to stamping, hydroforming, and waterjet cutting, we have the knowledge and state-of-the-art equipment necessary to meet all your metal fabrication needs. We are committed to providing on-time delivery, accurate metal components, and exceptional customer service.

For more information on our waterjet cutting services, contact us today or request a quote. Our seasoned experts are happy to help you determine the ideal manufacturing solution for your next project.

The Differences Between Waterjet, Laser, and Plasma Cutting

There are three common precision cutting methods: waterjet, laser, and plasma cutting. All these techniques are known for their speed and flexibility, but there are key differences that ultimately determine which approach is best suited to your intended application. The following guide explains how these methods work and the benefits they provide.

Laser Cutting

Laser cuttingLaser cutting is the most precise method and uses less energy than plasma or waterjet cutting to process metal sheets. It can cut components to a 0.002″ accuracy and process multiple materials simultaneously. Cutting is fully automated except for programming, inspections, and repairs.

Laser cutting equipment uses a nozzle, curved lens, and compressed gas to create a focused and spherical pinpoint of light that a technician or program can control. This allows for fine detail and edge work, speed, efficiency, and replicability.

There are many benefits of precision laser cutting, including:

  • The ability to cut complex and irregular shapes
  • High-speed cutting, without the need for retooling
  • Flexibility to cut metal and non-metal materials
  • Highly efficient and reliable
  • Ability to cut narrow widths

Plasma Cutting

plasma cuttingPlasma cutting is similar to laser cutting—both are accurate and require little human interaction during operation. It offers up to 0.008″ accuracy and can be used for both ferrous and nonferrous metals. Like the equipment which is used during laser cutting, plasma cutting machinery also features a nozzle and compressed gas. Together, these components create a plasma arc that easily cuts through most materials. Heat is an unavoidable byproduct of plasma cutting, which in turn generates fumes and smoke. Because of this, the method can’t be used on non-conductive materials, including wood and plastic, and it requires proper ventilation to operate safely.

The benefits of plasma cutting include:

  • Low cost of operation
  • Fast cutting speeds
  • Simple operations with limited potential for error
  • More efficient than other methods for cutting holes

Waterjet Cutting

waterjet cuttingInstead of using a heat energy source like laser or plasma cutting, the waterjet uses high-pressure streams of water to cut materials. The jet is sometimes combined with a grating material, like garnet or aluminum oxide, to facilitate the process. Of the three methods, waterjet cutting is the most precise with tolerances of up to 0.001″.

At its beginning, waterjet cutting was only used for thin and delicate materials, like paper. Now, due to advances in technology, waterjetting can be used to cut almost any industrial material, including most metals, ceramic, stone, marble, and more. It’s commonly used to produce parts for the aerospace industry, as well as ceramic and marble pieces for construction.

The benefits of waterjet cutting include:

  • Safe operation for workers
  • Sustained material life
  • Removes the risk of overheating the material
  • Low risk of thermal warping or damage
  • Greater material utilization-to-waste generation ratio
  • Exceptionally accurate

Contact Metal Craft for Your Waterjet Cutting Needs

Metal Craft’s dedicated and experienced team provides metal manufacturing solutions to customers from every industry. We use waterjet cutting methods to produce the most reliable, cost-effective, and accurate results. Whatever method is best for your project, our experienced team can help.

For over 50 years, we have proudly provided innovative solutions and excellent customer service throughout North America. If you have an upcoming metal fabrication project, contact us to learn more about our services.

Why Use Metal Spinning for Furniture Applications?

Furniture Metal Spinning

Metal furniture and fixtures offer stability and strength, especially for rounded bases and tubular structures. Metal spinning—also known as spin forming or metal turning—is a technique that shapes these parts by taking a flat piece of metal, usually in the form of a disc, and molding it to fit a form as that form and disc spin at high speed. 

These spun-metal products have clean, sleek lines and smooth surfaces that are strong and durable. They are commonly used in many decorative items and commercial and industrial products, ranging from lamp bases to candlesticks to furniture and table legs. Metal spinning is a highly customizable process, allowing both artisans and automated lines to produce accurate forms.

Why the Furniture Industry Uses Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is a perfect match for the furniture industry, as there is little to no waste  (cutting, grinding, etc) when metal is spun into a shape. The process of metal spinning for furniture is relatively swift, if automated, and produces durable items.

You can create almost any rounded shape with metal spinning as long as you find a suitable blank form. The spinning can be done by hand to form unique items or by mass production to create several identical forms of one shape. Either way, the process is very versatile and cost-effective. For the furniture industry in particular, metal spinning produces aesthetically pleasing pieces without breaking a company’s budget. This is essential for furniture manufacturers who want to mass-produce items.

How Metal Spinning Is Used in the Furniture World

furniture-metal-spinning

Any time you see a rounded base or a tubular structure made of metal, especially steel, copper, brass, alloys, or aluminum, you’re likely looking at a piece that was formed through metal spinning. These include bases for:

  • Lamps
  • Flag Poles
  • Crowd barriers
  • Stools, chairs, and table legs
  • Display stands
  • Lids (e.g., metal trash can lids)

Metal spinning is also used for tubular lamp shapes, candlesticks, vases, and similar items.

Metal spinning using CNC machinery is another matter. This combination of metal spinning and computer-controlled tools produces nearly identical items with specifications that are all within a certain tolerance. This is the path you want to take if your company plans to mass-produce items for sale.

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping for All Your Metal Spinning Needs

You can form round bases and tube-like forms for furniture and fixtures through a number of methods, but metal spinning offers the best value. It is efficient and allows individuals and companies to create products that are both attractive and practical. 

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping provides metalworking services in both the U.S. and Canada

Contact Us today to learn more about the metal spinning process or to get started on your next furniture project!

 

Metal Spun Bases; What You Need to Know

metal-spinning-stoolMetal spinning is a technique for fabricating parts with a circular cross-section from a flat metal disc or cylinder. Metal spinning is also often referred to as spin forming or metal turning. Metal spinning is commonly used in the fabrication of various metallic bases for a wide variety of commercial and industrial goods.

Where Are Metal Spun Bases Used?

Metal spun bases are a natural fit for applications requiring a symmetrical, round component as a base or for finishing. They are widely used in the following applications:

  • Bases for mannequins and display stands in the clothing industry
  • Flag stands, pole bases, or fencing bases for construction projects
  • Bases for chairs, tables, bar stools, and various restaurant furniture
  • Display cases and stands in grocery and retail stores

Aluminum, brass, copper, steel and metallic alloys are all used to make spun bases. Metal spinning with computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines can produce various bases from any of these metals with strict tolerances.

Furniture manufacturing uses metal spun bases for their visual appeal as well as robustness. Steel is usually the metal of choice for furniture manufacturing due to its machinability and strength. Steel parts are also very durable even under fluctuating ambient conditions and high loads. Furthermore, steel parts have an appealing finish that can be maintained for a long time through simple and easy cleaning methods.

Aluminum and brass are used for products that need a high polish—aluminum is used for commercial products while brass is more suitable for decorative purposes. Copper is appropriate for light fixtures and roofing parts due to its high thermal conductivity.

Advantages of Metal Spinning

The main advantages of metal spinning are as follows:

  • Low waste. Spinning generates much less waste than other manufacturing methods and the generated scrap can be easily retained and recycled. This is true for manual spinning as well as precision spinning with CNC machines.
  • Reduced costs. Spinning tools cost a much less than the tools used in other manufacturing processes, giving metal spinning a cost advantage over competitive forming methods.
  • Durability. Spun parts are essentially a single piece with no seams which makes them very sturdy and durable.
  • Speed. The short turnaround time and flexibility of the spinning process makes it an attractive and economical process for volumes ranging from prototyping through high volume production.
  • Versatility. Though the process is simple, it can be used for fabricating a wide variety of shapes. Basic spun shapes such as dishes, domes, flanges, hemispheres, and whole spheres can be combined to make more complicated shapes. A virtually endless variety of products of differing shapes, sizes, and finishes can be fabricated when spinning is used in combination with welding.

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has been in the metal spinning business for more than 50 years. We are skilled at hand spinning, as well as spinning with modern CNC machines. We also have in-house hydraulic metal stamping presses and hydroforming capabilities, enabling us to meet a broad variety of metal forming needs. Metal Craft can be your one-stop shop for bases, stands, and other metal products.

Contact Us today with information about your  next project.

 

5 Tips to Optimize Your Metal Spinning Design

Similar to the way a potter fashions a bowl or vase from clay on a spinning pottery wheel, metal can be spun on manual or CNC lathe to produce a variety of parts and components. Metal spinning is an advantage when you need seamless items or particularly strong structural parts. The process is ideal for production volumes ranging from short-lead prototypes to mass production.

With metal spinning, pieces of flat circular metal are carefully shaped into disks that can be further modified to make common items such as:

  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Commercial lighting
  • Brass instruments
  • Gas cylinders
  • HVAC Parts
  • Roofing parts
  • Aerospace parts
  • Satellite dishes

Exact shaping of the metal is dependent on additional tools used with the lathe, such as the complex rollers that smooth the metal form over mandrels. Nearly any type of metal can be used for metal spinning, including brass, copper, aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium. When cold form manipulation doesn’t produce optimal results, heat can be applied to improve the workability of the metal as it is spun.

Best results may be achieved by carefully following the best practices for metal spinning planning and design.

1. Define Object Function

If you don’t know exactly what you’re designing, you’re more likely to waste time and materials during the spinning process. It’s important to note that metal can only be spun on both circular or semi-circular shapes, so the process can, in fact, work for designs that require sharp corners. Once the final goal is determined, a design can be created that will leverage metal spinning’s precision and customizability.

2. Pick Your Material

Metal spinning works with a variety of metals, but selecting the appropriate materials for your specific job will ensure the best results and minimize wasted metal. Different metals can have vastly different end results, depending on the thickness you wish to achieve. 

Very small changes in diameter or thickness can make a part unusable for your engineering project. In addition, some metals are more likely to get rigid as they are spun. Knowing what metal is best for your application and using a material that’s well-suited to your needs will ensure optimal end results.

3. Consider Material Thickness

Depending on the type of metal you use and the height of the sidewalls, the sidewalls of your object will thin and could vary as much as 25%. You’ll need to carefully consider the amount of pressure you apply from the mandrel to the raw metal.

A larger corner radius will be easier to create and stronger than using tighter corners, so you’ll want to avoid sharp corners in your finished part. The formed radius of the end object should be at least 2–3 times the material thickness for best results. The radius in the corners can in some cases equal the metal thickness, but may vary as much as 30%. The thickness of the bottom will be of equal thickness to the original metal blank.

4. Specify Your Tolerances

Metal spun parts don’t necessarily need consistent thickness throughout. Designs should also note that part diameter can be impacted by roundness and flatness. In parts that are less than 1 foot in diameter, a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches may be achieved. Less than that diameter, you can expect +/- 0.01 inches, while 2–4 feet requires +/- 0.02 inches and 4–8 feet must have a tolerance of +/- 0.03 inches.

Manufacturing your metal-spun part from a tolerance of +/- 0 .01 of an inch for every foot in diameter is an achievable goal.

5. Cost Factors

Many metal forming methods are not cost effective at low volumes, but you can save time and money by metal spinning prototypes or a short runs. A cost/benefit analysis can help you identify savings for your unique design, especially considering different tolerances or sizes. Creating parts is fast with metal spinning so lead times may be shorter, but it’s important to create a design that facilitates fast and accurate production.

Parts created through metal spinning can be made smaller if needed and are often stronger than those created through other processes. Spinning may improve the properties of the raw metal by aligning the grain structures of the metal more advantageously for your application. Depending on the exact use case, metal spinning can be a more cost-effective way to create one-off parts and prototypes than other metal forming methods.

Metal Spinning from Metal Craft S&S

Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that specializes in the production of high-quality parts for our customers across the United States and North America. If you’re ready to bring your metal spinning design to life, please request a quote to get started.