Importance of Lubrication in Metal Stamping
Metal stamping is a manufacturing process in which flat metal sheets are shaped into parts using a press and a die. In this process, the metal sheet is placed between a punch and a die, and the press applies high force to the punch, which deforms the metal and forms it into the desired shape.
It is used to produce a wide range of parts and components for various industries, including automotive, electronics, and consumer goods. Metal stamping is considerably an efficient and affordable method for producing high volumes of parts with precise dimensions and uniformity. The process can be used with a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and brass, and it can be easily automated to improve production speed and consistency.
However, like any other industrial mechanism, metal stamping also requires frequent maintenance which includes lubrication as well. If done properly and religiously, lubrication can showcase several benefits in the metal stamping process and ensure an improved quality of performance.
Benefits of Lubrication in Metal Stamping process
- Provides cooling – The metal stamping process generates a significant amount of heat due to the high levels of pressure and friction involved. This heat can cause damage to the die and punch, reduce their lifespan, and result in deformities in the stamped parts. Lubrication helps to minimize this heat and protect the tooling and metal from damage.
- Prevents abrasion – Lubrication helps to reduce friction and wear on the die and punch, as well as on the metal being stamped.
- Expands the lifespan and cost-effective – Lubricants also help to extend the life of the die and punch by reducing wear and corrosion. They create a barrier between the metal and the tooling, reducing the amount of contact and friction between the two. This not only helps to reduce wear on the tooling, but it also helps to maintain the dimensional accuracy of the stamped parts over time. Plus offers a minimum maintenance cost.
Lubrication Methods for Metal Stamping
Precise lubrication application is critical in metal stamping to ensure that the right amount of lubricant is applied to the right areas at the right time. A well implied lubrication technique will deliver the adequate and repeatable amount of lubricant is delivered. There are several methods used to apply lubricants in metal stamping, including:
- Dip tank application: This method involves immersing the metal parts in a tank filled with lubricant. The parts are then removed and excess lubricant is drained off.
- Spraying: This method involves using a spray nozzle to apply a fine mist of lubricant to the metal parts. This is a highly precise method that can be used to apply a controlled amount of lubricant to specific areas.
- Roll-on application: This method involves using a roller to apply a thin film of lubricant to the metal parts. This method is commonly used for high volume metal stamping operations and is highly efficient.
- Brushing: This method involves using a brush to apply lubricant to the metal parts. This method is typically used for small parts or for applying lubricant to specific areas.
- Automatic application: This method involves using an automated system to apply lubricant to the metal parts. It is very precise and commonly used in high volume metal stamping operations.
Regardless of the method, it is important to monitor the amount and distribution of lubricant during the metal stamping process to ensure that the right amount of lubricant is being applied. As over-lubrication can cause problems such as increased tool wear, reduced surface finish, and increased tool downtime, while under-lubrication can result in increased friction and heat, reduced tool life, and decreased production efficiency.
Types of Lubricants used for Metal Stamping
There are various types of lubricants that can be used in metal stamping, including oil-based and water-based formulations. The choice of lubricant depends on the type of metal being stamped, the shape and size of the parts, and the desired level of lubrication performance.
Following are the common type of lubricants applied in metal stamping process :
- Straight oils – These are the most basic form of lubricants and are used for light to medium duty metal stamping. They are made from petroleum-based or synthetic base oils and are typically used for low to medium speed stamping processes.
- Emulsions – These are water-based lubricants that contain small droplets of oil dispersed in water. They are used for light to medium duty metal stamping and are typically used for high speed stamping processes.
- Pastes – These are thick, semi-solid lubricants that are applied to the metal surfaces before stamping. They are used for medium to heavy duty metal stamping and are typically used for slow to medium speed stamping processes.
- Greases – These are semi-solid lubricants that contain a base oil and a thickener. They are used for heavy duty metal stamping and are typically used for slow speed stamping processes.
- Synthetic lubricants – These are made from synthetic base oils and are designed to provide enhanced performance over straight oils. They are used for light to heavy duty metal stamping and are typically used for high speed stamping processes.
Lubeco’s Special metalworking lubricants come in variants that are developed after exploring and observing the peculiar needs of various sectors in the industry, which includes metal stamping process as well. These fluids dry faster, free from extreme pressure additives, and instead have ester additives that improves the lubricity as well as improves the cleanliness and sludge control. To know more about the products, feel free to reach out to us and we will guide you accordingly.