Spin forming, metal spinning or metal turning are metalworking techniques that transform discs, tubes or sheets of metal into axially symmetric parts by rotating them at high speeds. Metal spinners carry out the spinning operation either manually or using a CNC lathe.
Highly qualified metal spinners are capable of spinning a variety of metals to a high tolerance and quality finish. These metals include:
Aluminium is commonly used in industrial and commercial lighting due to it being a highly polish-able metal. As it is light and easy to work with it is often used to make more complicated shapes that would be too difficult to spin out of stainless steel for example. Aluminium also has the benefit of not showing signs of rusting as steel does. There is an endless amount of finishing possibilities with this metal, as it is available in a large variety of sizes and alloy combinations.
Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper, which is highly malleable and can be worked hot or cold depending on the level of zinc in its content. It is mainly used for decorative or ornamental objects, as it is receptive to varying finishes.
Copper is a favourite of the lighting and decorating industries due to its high resistance to heat, electrical conductivity and resilience in harsh conditions. It is still a leading material for fireplace accents, lighting fixtures and other conical forms, however it has fallen in popularity in the more traditional manufacturing fields due to its high material costs. Copper oxidises and develops its own specific coating and colouring depending on its surrounding environment.
Being the least expensive of all steel, mild steel is the most common steel used. It is a very hard metal that is very durable although it rusts easily. Many everyday objects are created using steel including car chassis and motorbike frames. Metal spinning with steel provides a lot of our cylindrical cookware. Painting or sealing this metal is necessary to prevent rust damage.
So called due to its resistance to staining and rust unlike mild steel. It is used in many metal-spinning applications, particularly exposed exterior applications. The chromium content of the metal forms a barrier against water and air, which protects it from oxidization. This layer quickly reforms when scratched to preserve a high shine finish.
Metal spinning is a manufacturing industry that is ever evolving not only in the methods of manufacture but also the metals used. As a result even more unusual metals like Hastelloy and Titanium are starting to be used.