The Facts Behind Metal Spinning and Hydroforming

The Facts Behind Metal Spinning and Hydroforming

Metal spinning and hydroforming are often thought of as specialized and narrowly focused metal forming processes. As a result, many engineers don’t understand the benefits these techniques offer.

What is Metal Spinning?
Metal spinning, or spin forming, is used for forming disks of metal using conceptually similar techniques to clay pottery sculpting. Typically used for short production runs, metal spinning can be done manually or with automation using CNC lathes.

Typically, metal spinning is used for producing parts like stainless steel bowls, satellite dishes, gas cylinders and brass instruments.

“Some customers appreciate the work hardening phenomenon as a result of metal spinning, sometimes they want a harder part,” said Sam Ibrahim, president of Helander Metal Spinning Company. “They like the fact it comes in right off the machine with more ridged mechanical properties.”

As metal spinning technology and automation has improved in quality, parts can be spun today with a thickness in excess of 1 in (25 mm), while wasting considerably less material than other metal forming techniques.

“These days, with CNC technology, we’re able to spin a thicker material and machine the entire part contour, in one CNC setup, to give a uniform wall thickness.” Ibrahim said. “Typically, we would do some preforming operations to keep the material thicker at certain points.”

Read more: The Facts Behind Metal Spinning and Hydroforming