The steel industry employs four main categories of Detroit industrial lubricant in its facilities process lubricants, hydraulic fluids, metal working lubricants, and machinery lubricants. Process Lubricants is process type lubricants come in direct contact with the steel surfaces during the various pickling, rolling, shaping, plating, and heat-treating operations. Rolling oils used in cold rolling and temper mills constitute the largest volume in this group of fluids. The roll oils, pickier oils and roll coolants are applied to the sheet and strip in the cold rolled tin-plate, hot rolled strip rolling and cold rolled sheet operations, increase the roll life, keeps the rolls cool, control roll bite friction, influence the strip shape and clean the strip.
The volume and expenditures for process rolling oils in cold rolling operations far exceed the lubricants used for machinery maintenance and reliability. Palm oil at one time was the original vegetable oil used for cold rolling. Today, most rolling oils are made from the tallows of beef and pork with surfactants and biocides added to the oil to extend the life of the oil. Some synthetic products from esters have been developed to compete with the tallow based oils. The oil is mixed with water in a 2 to 4% solution. It is kept heated to 160°F and then sprayed through nozzle systems onto the rolls and strip.
The ability of the oil in an emulsion to mainly wet out on the steel strip and roll at the roll bite is a basic important property. This is known as "Saponization." There are once-through or "direct application" systems and recirculating or "solution" systems used by the steel industry. The second major process fluid or Detroit industrial lubricant is the drawing lubricant. This material is used on the successive drawing dies to reduce friction and heating as steel rod is drawn in a cold state via the dies to make wire or for making cold drawn tube from the hot rolled tubes. The processes can be done wet or dry.
In the wet process, two basic lubricant types are employed solutions of high fat, low soap for carbon steels and 100 to 300 SSU (20 to 65 cSt) at 100°F (40°C) oil compounded with chlorine, fat and sulfur. The dry process uses sodium, calcium, or aluminum soaps, or soap-fat compounds. Sodium soap requires its removal from the surface prior to the next operation. The aluminum soap has been used in cold heading. The soap-fat compound was used when extra clean brightware was required. In the wet process, there are two basic lubricant types solutions of high fat, low soap for carbon steels and 100 to 300 SSU (20 to 65 cSt) at 100°F (40°C) oil compounded with chlorine, fat and sulfur.
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