Flow forming (which we refer to as “Floturning”) differs essentially from metal spinning in that the metal is coldflowed, using tremendous pressure on the forming roller. In addition to controlling section thickness, Floturning improves metal structure in the coldworking process.
The Floturning process is an outstanding example of “net-to-size” seamless metalworking. Flat blanks, pressed pre-forms or machined pre-forms are brought to finished dimensions, usually in a single pass. Thus, the savings in time and metal can be surprising. The finish produced on the part often eliminates the need for secondary operations.
Our Floturn equipment can produce seamless shapes with diameters up to 60 inches with thicknesses up to one inch depending on alloy type.
One of our Floturning specialties is seamless stainless steel hoppers.
WHY FLOW FORMING?
The advantages of flow forming are:
- Ability to form aerospace alloys such as stainless steel, Inconel and titanium. These alloys are difficult to form using conventional deep drawing or metal spinning.
- Improved mechanical properties caused by the coldworking of the material.
- Low-cost tooling when compared to deep drawing or stamping.
- Ability to hold tight tolerances as compared to deep drawn or spun metal parts.
- Ability to form seamless products for sanitary or high pressure applications.
How does flow forming differ from metal spinning?
The Floturn (flow forming) process is a method of rotary metal forming which produces parts which are round in cross section, but which may be straight-sided cones, contoured cones or cylindrical shaped parts. In a sense, the Floturn process utilizes a three-dimensional variation of the basic rolling process that is used in a steel mill to produce flat sheet, starting with a thick slab.
Floturning (flow forming) is very similar to conventional metal spinning. It must be understood that there is a very basic difference between metal spinning and Floturning. Conventional metal spinning utilizes a relatively thin piece of material and produces the shape of the finished part from the diameter of the starting blank. Floturning produces a finished shape by working from the thickness of the starting blank, creating a part considerably thinner than the starting blank.
The Floturn process must not be confused with swaging or upsetting operations, as material is not reduced in diameter as in swaging, or gathered to increase thickness as in upsetting.