Metal flow forming, also known as spin forming or flow turning, is a metalworking process used to create hollow parts with a high level of precision and strength. It involves rotating a metal blank or preform while applying a radial force and shaping the metal against a mandrel or form tool.
The process typically starts with a cylindrical metal blank or preform that is loaded onto a spinning mandrel or chuck. As the mandrel spins, a radial force is applied to the blank using rollers or other tools, causing the metal to flow and stretch over the mandrel surface to take its shape. The process can be used to create a variety of shapes, including cylinders, cones, domes, and complex shapes with multiple curves and radii.
One of the advantages of metal flow forming is that it allows for precise control over wall thickness and dimensional accuracy, with minimal material waste. The process also produces parts with excellent surface finishes and strength, making it a popular choice for aerospace, defense, and automotive applications.
Metal flow forming is typically used with ductile metals such as aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel, and can be performed using both manual and automated equipment. The process can be used to create parts in a range of sizes and thicknesses, from small precision components to large structural parts for aerospace and defense applications.