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.

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.

Figure 1 shows a rough comparison between metal spinning a conical part and Floturning a conical part. Figure 2 shows the comparison between metal spinning a cylindrical part as compared to Floturning a cylindrical part.

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.

flow forming, metal spinning    

Figure 1


Figure 2

flow forming: spun metal parts

flow forming: spun metal parts

flow forming: spun metal parts

flow forming: spun metal parts

flow forming: spun metal parts

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