The metal spinning process starts with a flat sheet of material. This is laser cut into a circular form. Once this has been completed the “blank” or circular disk is loaded on to the spinning lathe. The “blank” is then secured against a “tool”. The tooling is what gives the end component the required shape. The tooling has been designed to the customer requirements from the drawing provided.
The “blank” then rotates in a circular motion at speed. The lathe operator, also known as a “metal spinner”, then applies pressure through a “roller” or spinning tool. The metal spinner will apply a series of passes over the “blank” to form the material over the tooling. The resulting part is a piece that duplicates the exterior portion of the tooling it was formed on.
Metal Spinning which is commonly referred to as spin forming, spinning or metal turning is the process of which involves a disc or tube of a specific metal – i.e. steel or copper – rotating at high speeds on machines known as a lathes. Here, they are formed into axially symmetric shapes. This means they are symmetrical around an axis and therefore their appearance looks unchanged around an angle, for example a plate looks the same when rotated around different angles.
The process of Metal Spinning can be performed by hand or a computer numerical control (CNC). CNC Lathes are highly automated using Computer-Aided design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) programmes. This therefore produces a computer file to extract commands allowing the trialled machine to continuously spin under the watchful eye of a CNC specialist.