Lubrication efficiency and die design in wire drawing
With the competitive challenge facing business today, the need to keep cost down and quality up is a matter of survival. One way in which wire manufacturers can meet this challenge is to possess a thorough understanding of deformation, friction and lubrication during the wire drawing process, and therefore to make good decisions regarding the selection and application of lubricants as well as the die design. Friction, lubrication and die design during wire drawing thus become the subject of this study. Although theoretical and experimental investigations have been being carried out ever since the establishment of wire drawing technology, many problems remain unsolved. It is therefore necessary to conduct further research on traditional and fundamental subjects such as the mechanics of deformation, friction, lubrication and die design in wire drawing. Drawing experiments were carried out on an existing bull-block under different cross-sectional area reductions, different speeds and different lubricants. The instrumentation to measure drawing load and drawing speed was set up and connected to the wire drawing machine, together with a data acquisition system. A die box connected to the existing die holder for using dry soap lubricant was designed and tested. The experimental results in terms of drawing stress vs percentage area reduction curves under different drawing conditions were analysed and compared. The effects on drawing stress of friction, lubrication, drawing speed and pressure die nozzle are discussed. In order to determine the flow stress of the material during deformation, tensile tests were performed on an Instron universal test machine, using the wires drawn under different area reductions. A polynomial function is used to correlate the flow stress of the material with the plastic strain, on which a general computer program has been written to find out the coefficients of the stress-strain function. The residual lubricant film on the steel wire after drawing was examined both radially and longitudinally using an SEM and optical microscope. The lubricant film on the drawn wire was clearly observed. Therefore, the micro-analysis by SEM provides a way of friction and lubrication assessment in wire drawing.