Forming metal into a seamless product using only one piece of material results in a sturdier product that is capable of tolerating higher tensions, whether internal or external.
This is possible with metal spinning. Birmingham and other cities known for manufacturung steel, use a machine (a horizontal or vertical lathe) that can rotate a metal disc or a metal tube at very high speeds, resulting in a product that’s perfectly symmetrical on the axis.
Your cookware or gas cylinders are likely to have spun metal parts. So are the brass instruments your child plays for the school band. The applications of spun metal encompass various industries. In determining the material to use for spinning, several factors influence the decision:
1. Cost of the material
2. The intended shape of the finished product
3. Application of the finished product
Common Materials for Spinning
Steel – This material meets the three factors above in many applications with typically favourable answers. It costs less than other metals for spinning, is a lot denser than other materials, and has high durability. For parts that should not easily give in to deformation, warping, scratching or bending, steel is a familiar choice.
Aluminium – This material is significantly pricier than steel, but it does have niche applications. Parts that have to be intricately designed are possible with aluminium’s high malleability and elasticity. If steel is used for such purposes, it is very likely to come apart or crack. Compared to steel, there is no post-spinning surface treatment needed to protect aluminium from rust, as it naturally resists corrosion. Aluminium is a common material used in parts exposed to abrasive or wet environments.
Copper – Copper costs more than either aluminium or steel, but it is also a common choice for spinning. Like aluminium, copper is malleable and resistant to corrosion, but it has other characteristics that make it the choice for pipes, roofs, medical equipment, lighting and other purposes. It is non-magnetic and has a great appearance, but it is usually valued more for its conductivity (both electrical and thermal). It resists microbes and becomes stronger when worked.
Other metals can be used in spinning, just like there are many applications for the process of spinning itself. With its low-cost tooling, the symmetry of finished products and low wastage, spinning is one of the most important processes in metalworking.