Specialty lubricants for metal forming and metal working processes leave no residue, reduce tool wear and simplify downstream processes.
If your manufacturing operation involves bending, forging or punching processes, you want lubrication that cost-effectively minimises tool wear and maintenance, without compromising downstream production stages. And any metal working lubricant you choose must be precisely matched to your particular technique’s conditions.
Our recently retuned metal forming lubricant range has products for the latest market requirements. Lubricants and release agents are easily removed after metal forming, leaving no or low residue on the tool or workpiece. This avoids impairing subsequent operations like welding or painting, especially for sheet metal forming.
Simplification of downstream processes, plus lower lubricant consumption, means our specialty lubricants improve your process profitability.
The role played by specialty lubricants in aluminium continuous casting depends on the method used. For conventional casting of rolling ingots, a grease on the steel surface of the mould forms a protective film between the mould wall, and the molten aluminium and its oxide layer. For Wagstaff® low-head composite rolling ingot casting, a graphite layer provides the non-wetting surface for casting and serves as a lubricant reservoir. A special oil is also needed for the Wagstaff AirSlip® casting process for billet casting. In this process a mixture of oil with air or gas serves as release layer between the mould and the melt.
In aluminium hot extrusion, heated, softened metal is squeezed through a die opening to form the extrudate. Lube points in hot extrusion plants include the dummy block nose, shear blades for the butt and sawing of finished profiles.
Hot massive forming (primarily forging processes) in pressing plants involves heavy plastic deformation in the part. Forging fluid provides lubrication between the metal surface and die during deformation and release of the workpiece from the die after deformation.
Sheet metal forming/working comprises non-machining processes like blanking, drawing, bending, slitting or punching using raw material from coils, thin plates or bands. Sheet metal is classified according to its end use – e.g. electronics, household goods or food packaging – or according to the material, surface treatment, surface refinement and thickness.
For sheet metal working and forming, it is often desired to have minimal or zero residue on the workpiece after the process - this can be achieved by a range of various solvent-based oils from our portfolio.
During tube bending, a mandrel is essential to maintaining the tube’s shape, and tube bender lubricant is required between the mandrel and inner wall surface to minimise friction and wear. For high-end performance, the lubricant can be a paste from our successful PRESSPATE series. Otherwise, an oil or a water-based gel provides sufficient performance.
The deep drawing process involves forming a cup or box with a flat base and straight or curved walls, from a sheet metal blank.
Our specialty lubricants offer benefits across many manufacturing sectors, from construction and agricultural machines to rail vehicle parts, as well as consumer and white goods. More specialist applications include metal façades, packaging materials and electronic components.
The food industry is of particular interest, e.g. for aluminium trays, containers, and bottle closures: in these manufacturing processes additional requirements regarding food safety regulations come into the picture, which we can meet perfectly with our new generation of food-grade lubricants.
Lubrication in metal working must be applied to the process rather than a particular machine element or moving part. Accordingly, metal working lubricants should be tested and evaluated for their target process, in terms of application mode, material, speed, tool surface and temperature of parts and tools.
However, once selected, lubricants for metal forming typically only have to perform once.
Metal working imposes additional, unique demands on the specialty lubricants used. Parts should remain clean with good surface quality and no contamination from the machine environment. Good evaporation should mitigate residue formation on workpieces, and cleaning requirements after forming. The generation of vapours and odours in the production environment should be avoided, while black lubricants should be phased out wherever it is economically possible.
Part cleanliness is important to minimise any impairment of subsequent processes such as coating, painting and machining. Good dosage controllability allows minimised consumption. Compatibility with machine part lubrication, if used, is also important.
To learn more about our process lubricant portfolio and the performance factors that matter for your forming process, visit our Process Lubricants page.
We can offer, for example, a special bonded coating for forging operations, which is not applied to the die but to the workpiece, so in a way it carries its own lubricant with it.
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