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Metalube® water-based steel roll-forming packages deliver new levels of performance at Top Tubes

The new range of products developed by Metalube® includes;

Cool-Tek™ - low oil content, semi-synthetic forming lubricants,
Meta-Shield™ - solvent based and water based rust preventatives
Sol-Tek™ -evaporative lubricants

These products can be used separately to provide their own unique benefits or combined to achieve the highest levels of cleanliness and corrosion protection. The combination of Cool-Tek™ 250 and Meta-Shield™ W1000D, as used by Top Tubes Ltd, was specifically designed to overcome the issues faced by producers who use inline application of rust preventatives (application before tube cut off).

Traditionally solvent based rust preventatives have been used for the protection of steel tube. As manufacturers who use inline application of solvent based rust preventatives will know, the cross contamination of solvent based rust preventative and mill lubricant can cause a number of issues:

  • Roll Slip/Skidding – variations in lubrication
  • Decreasing levels of cleanliness on both the mill and the finished products
  • Increased dermatological risk for operators

Metalube® wanted to overcome these issues and others faced by tube manufacturers (such as the increasingly stringent demands by their customers to easily remove the rust preventative film). To that end the roll forming range was developed. The Cool-Tek™ 250 and Meta-Shield™ W1000D package represent the pinnacle of this development.

Cool-Tek™ 250 (mill lubricant) was designed using Meta-Shield™ technology to incorporate high levels of corrosion protection into the mill lubricant itself. This means that strong corrosion protection is applied to the inside bore of the tube even when used as low as 4-5%. The high level of detergents mean that both the mill and the finished tube remain very clean and the low level of oil in the product stops fines compacting into hard deposits. As the product has a low oil content the drag out is minimal and consumption is around 0.2L/T.

Meta-Shield™ W1000D is provided as a ready to use emulsion. It is a milky opaque emulsion and uses the special MAT – Metalube Adhesion Technology to deposit a thixotropic, hydrophobic oil film. The thixotropic nature of the film means that it is semi-permanent. Once applied to the tube it stays in place and does not gather at the bottom of the pack. The film gives protection from water and dirt but is easily removed by wash systems. The flexible nature of the film protects from accidental contact and can "self-heal". As water is the carrier the product dries well, drying can be further improved as heat can be safely applied to the product for incredibly quick/flash drying. The use of water as a carrier, instead of solvent, means that the cost of Meta-Shield™ W1000D is much lower. This provides a huge economic saving whilst delivering very high levels of performance. Meta-Shield™ W1000D is also available as a concentrate, Meta-Shield™ W1000C, which can reduce transport costs as well.

When used together; Cool-Tek™ 250 and Meta-Shield™ W1000D have shown major benefits for the tube manufacturer. As the products are compatible, cross contamination of Meta-Shield™ W1000D into the Cool-Tek™ 250 emulsion acts like top-up. This reduces consumption rather than increasing it as normally seen. The mix of fluids does not destabilise the emulsifiers/detergents so roll skidding is not seen and cleanliness remains excellent.

Observations from use onsite are that the drying time of the rust preventative is much quicker when sprayed than the previously used solvent based products. The packs dry very quickly and do not drip wet rust preventative. The odour within the factory environment was greatly improved as reported by operators and complaints of skin irritation eliminated. The package has been used to manufacture a large variety of steel products (black, cold rolled, hot rolled and dipped, galvanised and aluminised steels) in a variety of sizes and shapes with no issue.

After switching to Metalube's Cool-Tek™ 250 and Meta-Shield™ W1000D package Top Tubes found that corrosion protection was improved on both the inside and outside bores of the tube.

Top Tubes found that their customers were no longer having issues with removal of the rust preventative film during subsequent processes such as automated e-coating or chromating. They were also very pleased with the finish offered by Meta-Shield™ W1000D which gives the tube a shiny and clean aesthetic.

The use of the compatible water based technology means that a significant cost saving (>30%) was achieved as well as the many technical benefits experienced.

Simon Moore, ERW Operations Manager, Top Tubes said "Top Tubes always strive to use the latest technology to achieve the best quality for our customers. Switching to Metalube's water based package of products has solved many issues for both us and more importantly for our customers".

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