Metal Spinning and Hydro-forming


Metal spinning is the forming of sheet metal or tubing into cylinders, cones, hemispheres and other contoured, hollow, circular shapes. Metal spinning is typically a cold-forming operation. Metal spinning is a forming process used to produce circular hollow metal parts. To produce a part, a metal disc is revolved on a specialized lathe, while held against a spinning block, or mandrel, with a follower. As the disc rotates, spinning tools or rollers are used to force the disc onto the spinning block or mandrel. The material thickness of the finished part can be closely controlled, with reduction of 10% to 50%. Metal spinning is a low-fixed-cost, high-variable cost process. Tooling and setup is relatively inexpensive, while production time will run from 2 to 20 minutes. Spinning is generally used to reduce the overall cost of producing a limited number of parts. Spinning is an economical and efficient process to use when tooling and engineering costs of other methods are not justified for the quantity, shape or size of the part.

Advantages of Spinning
  • Low cost tooling

  • Design flexibility

  • Economical production at lower volumes

  • Smooth transitions from prototype to production

  • Aluminum & Alloys: including 1100, 2024, 3002, 3003, 5052, 6061

  • Cold/Hot Rolled Steel - Galvanized

  • Copper, Brass, Bronze & Muntz Metal

  • Gold

  • Hastelloy

  • Inconel

  • Nickels and Alloys - Monel and Kovar

  • Pewter

  • Silver

  • Stainless Steel: Type 304(L), 316(L), 310, 321, 347

  • Titanium

  • Niobium

  • High Strength & Corrosive Resistant


Hydro-forming uses fluid pressure in place of the punch in a conventional tool set to form the part into the desired shape of the die. The technique is very useful for producing whole components that would otherwise be made from multiple stampings joined together. It is a cost-effective way of shaping ductile metals such as aluminumbrass, low alloy steelsstainless steel into lightweight, structurally stiff and strong pieces.

Common Hydro-forming Materials

  • Aluminum

  • Brass

  • Cold rolled steel

  • Copper

  • Haste alloy

  • Hot rolled steel

  • Stainless steel

  • Affordability: The rubber diaphragm in the hydro-form machine acts as a common female die-cutting tooling costs by approximately 50% compared with conventional press dies.

  • Simplicity: Hydro-forming condenses two to three conventional drawing methods to one.

  • Flexibility: Hydro-forming can form irregular or difficult shapes that may not be able to be formed using other drawing methods.

  • Adaptability: Almost all sheet metals capable of being cold-formed can also be hydro-formed without having to switch tools.

  • Quick tool change: Due to the simplicity of the tooling, set-ups are quick and easy.

  • Saves you money: In hydro-forming, the "wrapping effect" of the diaphragm virtually eliminates any galling or scratches that conventional tools create

  • Maintains tight tolerances: Hydro-forming can hold and maintain tight tolerances without using expensive secondary operations needed in other metal-forming methods.  

  • Minimal material thin-out: Hydro-forming allows the metal to flow, unlike other forming processes that elongate or stretch the material. As a result, thinning out of the material is kept to an absolute minimum.