Woodland Metal Spinning utilises Leifeld spinning technology in the company’s metal forming workshop in Minto in south-west Sydney. Our Leifeld spinning machines are highly versatile in terms of capability, material handling and batch sizes. The state-of-the-art machines deliver high precision metal forming with greater economic efficiency and shorter cycle times than casting, forging or machining.
What is metal spinning?
Put simply, metal spinning is a method for transforming a metal blank (a disc or tube) into a symmetrical product by rotating and machining it at high speed on a lathe.
The metal workpiece is clamped between the shaped spinning mandrel and the tailstock of the spinning machine and then rotated by the drive. The workpiece and the mandrel rotate together and the rotating roller makes contact with the outer face. The roller gradually forms the material into the desired shape through a series of CNC-programmed passes.
Woodland has Leifeld machines that can handle up to 6mm-thick mild steel and blanks up to 1200mm in diameter.
Advantages of metal spinning
One advantage that metal spinning has over other metal forming processes is the capacity to produce seamless products from a single piece of material. Items produced via the metal spinning process typically have higher tensile strength than metal formed via other processes and in some cases lighter material can be used. With no seams, spun-metal objects can withstand higher internal and external forces. Metal spinning produces lightweight, reliable and robust products.
The metal spinning process is capable of producing almost any type of hollow body including objects with complex geometry and narrow tolerances. The process also produces an excellent surface finish.
With our Leifeld machines we can undertake spinning and forming processes in the same clamping set up. For example, the contour areas can be subsequently profiled, or the edges turned.
The advantages of metal spinning with our Leifeld equipment include:
- Material savings
- Low cost tooling – metal spinning mandrels are simpler and cheaper to produce than conventional tooling
- Fast production runs
- Finished articles are strong and stable
- Potential weight and material savings
- Complex shapes can be created with simple programming changes
- Multiple work steps are possible with one single clamping process, eg spinning and profiling, spinning and edge turning
- Seamless single-piece components
Metal spinning applications: machine components, cookware, lighting
Spun metal parts are typically found in a range of machinery, furniture, cookware and brass instruments. Metal spinning can produce components and even complete products with no seams or welds.
The Leifeld spinning machines support the efficient chipless forming of stainless steel. In chipless forming, force is applied to the workpiece to change the shape of the material and the required form is achieved without removing material from the workpiece.
Chipless stainless steel formation can produce the seamless high-quality surfaces demanded by the food industry. For example, we have Leifeld machinery suitable for single-piece production of conical funnels and sieves for commercial food processing.
With its ability to produce high quality external surfaces and uniform wall thicknesses, our Leifeld metal spinners are also ideally suited to the production of custom lighting. Woodland can produce a variety of custom-lightshade shapes including domes, hemispheres, and cones with cylindrical transitions.
Materials: steel, aluminium and copper
The materials most commonly used in metal spinning are steel, aluminium and copper. When selecting materials, it is important to consider the cost, the shape of the finished product, and the application. Steel is generally a cheaper option than other metals. Steel is stronger and more durable than aluminium or copper and is less likely to warp or bend under heat or stress. The density of steel means spun steel objects are not easily scratched or dinted.
Aluminium is more expensive and less durable than steel. However, aluminium is more malleable and elastic than steel and is more suitable for forming deeper and more intricate shapes.
Aluminium is corrosion resistant and requires no surface treatment after spinning. It is more suitable for use in wet or abrasive conditions than painted or coated metal being less prone to surface wear-and-tear.
Copper is another popular choice for metal spinning. Copper has good conductivity and corrosion resistance, plus it is a highly workable metal. Copper is generally more expensive but more aesthetically appealling than steel or aluminium. Spun copper parts are often used in plumbing, roofing and decorative applications like custom lighting and jewellery.