Product Highlight: IC 2524
Customer: Manufacturer of Deep Drawn, Stainless Steel Components
Objective: Improve the Clean-Ability of the Operation via Alternate Chemistry
Description: The customer, who utilizes various grades of stainless steel coil, uses a paste for the first draw process and had been using a full-strength, full synthetic lubricant for the second draw. Following the second draw, staining was appearing on portions of the formed part. These stains were not being removed in the cleaning process. ICC was charged with finding a potential solution to this problem. ICC began R&D on alternative technology to reduce or eliminate the observed staining.
Following extensive analysis, it was determined that a process called oxidative polymerization was occurring (i.e., the dried lubricant residues were oxidizing and forming a polymer on the surface of the parts). Various formulations were tested at the ICC lab. Over time, the candidates were narrowed to the best option: IC 2524, a full synthetic drawing and stamping lubricant which has been optimized for use with stainless steel. It is a modified version of IC 2524 that contains ethoxylated and water-soluble components for ease of removal in the cleaning process. IC 2524 was sent to the manufacturer for on-site testing.
During the field test, it was determined that a 70% solution concentration was the best option for optimum lubricity and clean-ability. ICC now ships a quality controlled, pre-diluted solution to the customer for usage on the presses straight from the drums.
Conclusion: Following full implementation of this new lubricant, the manufactured components are much cleaner and the residues wash completely from the surface. A second goal was to reduce costs, if possible. By implementing a 70% solution of IC 2524 versus the original, full-strength synthetic lubricant, the manufacturer has seen costs diminish by an initial 10%, with the expectation that costs will continue to fall via ongoing process improvements and better lubricant usage monitoring.