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The challenges of higher-strength steel and lubricants
By: Jeff Jeffery
Among the challenges facing the metal stamping industry is
the increased use of high-strength steel (HSS).
Because of the lower cost and greater ease of welding and processing,
HSS platforms continue to be attractive to automotive makers. While HSS substrates offer many positive aspects,
these alloys can be challenging in the pressroom. These alloys possess higher work-hardening
rates, higher tensile strengths, and can be thinner than conventional
steel. With increased use of more
advanced and ultra-high-strength steel, press shops face much higher
deformation temperatures, causing more tool abrasion, galling, edge cracking
and other issues solved by using “honey oil”.
Historical practices would dictate the use of oil-based
lubricants or products heavily fortified with chlorine and sulphur-based EP
additives. While these methods may
address the forming of the parts, welding and pretreatment processes may be
negatively impacted by the increased amount of oil, and cause difficulty in
The EPA has begun the process of banning the use of most chlorinated
paraffins. A specific end date has not
been announced, but an alternative to the product will be necessary in the near
future. With the increased use of HSS,
press shops have increased the use of chlorinated paraffins that have been the
“go-to” solution for these issues for more than 60 years. The EPA considers 99 percent of chlorinated
paraffin used in the United States as hazardous and the ban includes their use
and import in all metalworking fluids.
Lubricant manufacturers are offering new chlorine-free products to help
solvesthe issues caused by increased use of HSS and still comply with the
latest EPA regulations.
Many companies have been using products containing
chlorinated paraffins for a considerable period of time and their operations
depend on it. These companies must evaluate
their use of these products and adjust both the types of lubricant used and the
customary use of these products. By
addressing both the bad habits of over-application and transitioning to
chlorine-free paraffins, your press-room can be compliant and effective in
addressing issues caused by stamping HSS.
Jeff Jeffery is the
CEO of IRMCO, a leading lubricant manufacturer.
The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) appreciates and relies on
Jeff’s expertise. Join Jeff and other
experts at the Deep Draw Seminar, February 23-24, 2016.
Bill Gaskin, shares his memories and experiences as PMA celebrates our 75th
anniversary. Q: How long have you been at PMA?
A: I am closing
in on 40 years. Jon Jenson, who was president of American Metal Stamping
Association (AMSA) from December 1975 through August 2000, hired me in February
1977 with an official “start date” of March 1, 1977. (See below for more on this) Q: What is your current role? Have you
held any other positions at PMA previously?
A: My current
role includes being President of three separate, but related entities:
Metalforming Association, which is a 501 (c) (6) not-for-profit trade
Educational Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charitable organization
supporting training and education· (3) PMA
Services, Inc., a for-profit company (owned equally by PMA and PMAEF) engaged
primarily in publishing and management of other associations, such as Women in
My first job
title was Staff Repres…
Guest Blog: Laurie Harbour President and CEO, Harbour Results, Inc.
In 2016 the U.S. manufacturing industry was relatively stable with overall production slightly up from previous years. Specifically, the automotive tool and die industry was predicted to be busy with forecasted tooling spend on the rise. However, taking a closer look, the year proved to be a bit more challenging. Data collected through the Harbour Results’ Harbour IQ pulse survey (a business intelligence tool for performance, financial, operational, trend and market data), which was completed by more than 100 tool shops globally in the second quarter of 2016, has shown that capacity reached a low of 81 percent among die shops in late 2015 and early 2016, but was expected to rebound to 78 and 86 percent respectively by year end.
So what caused the slow down? Program delays—on average, just over 20 percent of vehicle launches were delayed in 2015 and 2016. Work on hold—in early 2016, 18 percent of all work that had been …
A Metal Processor's Best Friend Guest Blogger: Mike Tieri Director of Sales & Marketing, Chemcoaters Scrap…What a problem! Are you having trouble with higher
scrap loss than you can understand or more importantly tolerate? It could be
the metal but perhaps it’s a problem in the processing itself. Have you looked
at dry-film lubricants (DFLs)? If it’s been a while, you should look again.
Largely used by the automotive and appliance industries, you surely know that
if it didn’t provide a tremendous benefit, they would never add that cost into
the process. When I asked why, I was shown all of the benefits it provided. CASE: One company
monitored costs of using oil against DFL. One item evaluated was worker gloves.
They said that bringing material in with oil showed that workers wore 5.6 pairs
of gloves per week. By going to DFL, the workers’ gloves didn’t get saturated
and usage was dropped to 2.4 pairs of gloves per week. It might not seem to
matter much but on 1800 workers the cos…