Phosphate Coating as an Aid in Forming Steel

The contact pressure used in deep drawing operations sets up a great amount of friction between the steel surface and the die. The phosphate coating of steel as a metal-forming lubricant, before it is drawn:

• Reduces friction

• Increases speed of the drawing operations

• Reduces consumption of power

• Increases the life of tools and dies

When phosphate-coated steel is used in drawing seamless steel tubing, the resulting decrease in friction is so pronounced that greater reduction of tube size per pass is possible. This reduction may be as great as one-half.

Reduction in the number of draws and anneals in deep forming results in economy of operation. Conversion of a steel surface to a nonmetallic phosphate coating permits the distribution and retention of a uniform film of lubricant over the entire surface of the steel. This combination of lubricant and non metallic coating prevents welding and scratching of steel in the drawing operations and greatly decreases rejections.

Zinc phosphate coatings of light to medium weight are applied to steel to aid in drawing and forming operations. The phosphated surface is coated with a lubricant (such as soap, oil, drawing compound, or an emulsion of oil and fatty acid) before the forming operation. The zinc phosphate surface, which prevents metal-to-metal contact, makes it practical to cold form and extrude more difficult shapes than is possible without the coating. Table 4 lists and describes some products that are zinc phosphate dip or spray coated before being cold formed.

Table 4 Applications of zinc phosphate dip spray coating to facilitate cold forming

Part(a)

Steel

Area

Coating weight

Production, pieces/h

Sequence of operations

m

ft2

2

Spark plug body

1110

0.0002

0.002

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

500

(b)

Universal-joint bearing cup

1010

0.005

0.05

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

2000

(b)

Truck wheel nut

1008

0.007

0.08

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

1000

(b)

Piston pin

5015

0.0090.014

0.10.15

5.47.0

1.8-2.3

2600

(b)

Standard-transmission output shaft

4028

0.0090.014

0.10.15

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

300

(b)

Rocket-nozzle plate (69.85 mm or 2.75 in.)

4130, 4140

0.05

0.5

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

150

(c)

Mortar shell (80 mm or 3.2 in.)

1010

0.07-0.11

0.8-1.2

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

4000

(d)

Cartridge cases (75 mm or 3 in.)

1030

0.08-0.28

0.9-8.0

4.36.5

1.4-2.1

1000

(c)

(a) Bath used for all applications listed is zinc phosphate bath accelerated with nitrous oxide.

(a) Bath used for all applications listed is zinc phosphate bath accelerated with nitrous oxide.

(b) Alkaline wash, rinse, activating rinse, phosphate, rinse, neutralizing rinse, oil dip.

(c) Sulfuric acid pickle, rinse, rinse, phosphate, rinse, rinse, oil dip.

(d) Alkaline wash, rinse, sulfuric acid pickle, rinse, rinse, phosphate, rinse, oil dip

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