Introduction to Metal Spinning

Introduction to Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is known by different names, such as metal turning, metal spinning, or spin forming. This metal turning process is used to spin a tube or disc of metal at high speed in order to give it the desired shape. Spinning can be done manually or with the help of a CNC lathe. In this article, we are going to get a deeper insight into this process. Read on to find out more.

Unlike the traditional metal or woodturning, metal spinning involves moulding of sheet metal in order to make round metal components for commercial purposes. Typically, this process is used by manufacturers to achieve architectural details, decorate different types of household goods and specialty lighting. Some common examples of commercial applications include brass instrument bells, gas cylinders, cookware, and so on.

With this process, almost any type of metal can be molded including stainless steel and aluminium. The depth and diameter of the molded components are limited by the equipment size.


The process of spinning the metal is quite simple. A special type of clock is fixed in the drive area of the lathe. Besides, a metal disc is clamped against this section with the help of a pressure pad. This pressure pad is connected to the tailstock. Both of these pieces rotate at high speeds.

Then the application of a localized force causes the workpiece to blow over the said block. Typically, the force is applied using different types of tools. Although simple workpieces can be made with this process, a multi-piece block is used for complex shapes. So, this is how the process works.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Metal spinning offers a lot of advantages. For example, only one setup can help perform a lot of operations. Workpieces may feature different reentrant profiles, while the profile associated with the central line may be unrestricted.

Another advantage is that the path parameters and geometry is easy to alter in a cost-effective manner. Apart from this, production costs are also quite low. After all, spin farming is done manually. So, the total cost is quite low.

On the other hand, the alternate methods of metal forming involve higher costs. These methods include casting, forging, stamping, and hydroforming. However, they have a lower variable cost compare with metal spinning.

With the introduction of commercial machinery for metal spinning, it is possible to spin thicker materials. Traditional spinning has another disadvantage: It leaves behind a lot of waste material.

Metal spinning allows manufacturers to use only one piece of metal to make components that have no seems between them. Therefore, the molded parts can withstand higher pressure. A good example of these parts is scuba tanks.

Read more: Introduction to Metal Spinning