Gruebb 4427 - tube drawing in the USA
20 February 2018
About 8 years ago, a large US plant decided they wanted to ditch using trike cleaners and look at improving their production processes. They used a paste on their semi-floating mandrels, dipped the tube in a solvent deposited lube, dried the tubes for 24 hours and then used an old generation tube drawing oil to make tubes with high Ra. In fact they used 5 different pastes and lubricants in their production process. We came on the scene through a web search and they quickly liked our ideas but were not confident our products would bring any benefit - they'd tested a lot of competitor oils. The key was their desire to move to alkaline cleaners. Initially, they wanted their existing mandrel paste and tube drawing oils made alkaline cleanable. We did as instructed and made an improved madrel paste and tube drawing oils that were alkaline washable. Happy, but we weren't. We visited the plant and talked through the production process with the crew and found we needed a different approach. So after a lot of bench work we came up with new product technology that was three times the cost of normal tube oils, but looked interesting. Would they test it knowing the price ? They tried it. As an O/D lubricant, Ra fell, drawing speeds increased, die life improved, the tube looked bright and the most startling thing was that it could also be used as a mandrel lube. Delighted is not the word. From using 5 different products to one for everything. They stripped over 24 hours from the production process and produced better quality tube. They've even been able to draw some difficult alloys on the same line. Needless to say, they've been using this oil since. We also supply a sister plant drawing shaped white metal bars with an improved EP version.
Gruebb 4427 uses the base chemistry of that oil. It's not alkaline washable, with most plants using Dowclene 1601. However, it's cost effective, gives low Ra, improved drawing speeds and bright tube. And recently, we've used 4427 as the basis for an alkaline cleanable oil that's just passed pilgering trials at another US plant.
Second generation tube and pilgering oils. Contact us to see how we can help.