Metal Spinning

Overview of Metal Spinning

The time honoured trade of metal spinning dates back to the Ancient Egyptian times. Introduced to North America in the early 1800's metal spinning has evolved from Hand Metal Spinning on a manual lathe, to the use of modern CNC spin forming machines.

Metal spinning is a forming process that produces hollow parts that are typically circular in cross-section. The basic metal spinning process starts with a flat metal disc (blank), which rotates on a lathe. This rotating blank is pressed against a tool (chuck mandrel) that duplicates the interior of the part.

The basic metal spun shapes are the hemisphere, cone, cylindrical shell and venturi to name a few. Parts produced from metal spinning are utilized in many industries: agricultural, food service, lighting, marine, automotive, Commercial and industrial roofing, commercial and residential lighting, bearing closures, air pollution and ventilation, custom display stands, funeral urns, industrial vacuum cleaners, flag stand bases, fireplace accessories and satellite dish manufacturers.

Historically metal spinning was associated with prototypes and low volume production time. However, with the introduction of automatic and CNC lathes metal spinning is now a cost-effective option for both medium and high volume production. The relatively inexpensive tooling price still makes this forming method a cost effective one for fabricating prototypes.

Metals we work with:

Typical shapes that can be spun

Metal Spinning - Dished Metal Spinning - Domed
Metal Spinning - Domed with flange Metal Spinning - Flanged and flued
Domed with flange
Flanged and flued
Metal Spinning - Flanged and dished
Flanged, dished and flued
Flanged and dished
Tube cap

Tolerance Guidelines

Diameter of Finished Part Commercial Applications Special Applications
Up to 24" in diameter (600 mm) +/-0.015" to 0.031"
(0.38 mm to 0.79 mm)
+/-0.001" to 0.005"
(0.02 mm to 0.13 mm)
25" to 36" in diameter
(600 mm to 900 mm)
+/-0.0031" to 0.047"
(0.79 mm to 1.19 mm)
+/-0.005" to 0.015"
(0.13 mm to 0.38 mm)
37" to 48" in diameter
(900 mm to 1200 mm)
+/- 0.047" to 0.062"
(1.19 mm to 1.57 mm)
+/-0.010" to 0.030"
(0.25 mm to 0.76 mm)
49" to 72" in diameter
(1200 mm to 1800 mm)
+/- 0.062" to 0.094"
(1.57 mm to 2.39 mm)
+/-0.015" to 0.045"
(0.38 mm to 1.14 mm)

Advantages Of Metal Spinning

Spin tooling is relatively inexpensive due to the simplicity and composition.

  • This simplicity translates into short lead times for new parts
  • Design changes can usually be made at a minimum expense
  • The above factors combine to make spin tooling ideal for prototyping.
  • Metal Spinning is typically a cold working process, therefore spinning increases
  • The tensile strength of the material.

The Metal Spinning Process

In the basic set-up for a horizontal spinning lathe the tool (mandrel chuck) is mounted to the headstock of the lathe. A follower block (tail block) is mounted to the tailstock. A circular blank is then clamped to the tool by advancing the follower.

The tool rest and pin provide a support system for the lever arms, a scissor-Iike apparatus. The lever arms apply pressure to the blank via a roller or other forming tool. The movement of the roller across the blank is called a pass. A series of passes, which ultimately forms the completed part, is achieved by repositioning the lever arms incrementally.

We appreciate considering Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping for your needs. Please click here to obtain a quote or please contact us for your needs.

Fax.: 416-644-1999
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