What’s the Difference Between Spinning, Shrinking, and Stretching?

Intricate fabrications and innovations are what make the world of metal capable of incredible structural components.  Behind the scenes, metal fabrication methods such as spinning, shrinking and stretching, coax metal in ways that defy natural laws for a substance we consider to be solid.

Spinning, Shrinking, and Stretching

Metal fabrication is all about innovation. Methods used to convert raw material include spinning, shrinking, stretching among others. The end result is the manufacture of bespoke parts for specialised structural or industry-specific applications.

The entire process begins with detailed drawings, moves through the appropriate fabrication process, and finishes with a unique end product ready for installation. Today, you’ll become acquainted with spinning, shrinking, stretching.

Spinning – unlike conventional metal or even wood-turning, where the material is removed to create the desired shape, metal spinning moulds a sheet metal over whatever shape needs to be formed.

Applications range from household equipment and cookware to architectural detail. Your gas cylinder is an example of metal spinning.

Shrinking – involves altering the surface area of a sheet of metal. Hot and cold methods are used. Tools such as metal shrinking hammer, which in a sense, grabs the metal using sharp edges to pull the metal together often using a dolly (metal block) behind to cause it to assume a different shaping.

You’ll recognise that this describes most panel beating operations. Oxyacetylene flame and a shrinking disk are used by skilled professionals to perform metal shrinkage.

Stretching – is possible due to the elasticity of metal, which sounds like an oxymoron, but under stress, the atoms that normally remain in regular patterns are broken up making metal elastic and flexible.

A planishing hammer is sometimes used for certain applications. Mostly though, sheets of metal are clamped onto a stretch press over a die to form large contour parts. The motor vehicle industry requires the sleek shapes produced by stretching for their car body designs.

Steelmor is a leading stockist and manufacturer of stainless steel products in South Africa. We offer a full range of welding and fabrication services and would welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your unique requirements.

Contact us today.