TDX treatment produces an extremely hard surface layer that is diamond polished on all forming surfaces, resulting in a very low coefficient of friction. Consequently, the reduction of lubricant with TDX-treated tooling can be significant; in some cases, lubrication can be eliminated.
The exceptions where lubricants will be necessary are when forming soft materials (aluminum) or coated materials with soft and “gummy” types of surface treatments, such as aluminized steels, zincro metal, galvanized steel, galva-lume, etc. With these materials, forming pressures that generate high temperatures will cause excessive flaking or galling if lubricants are not used. TDX treatment in these applications will significantly enhance tool life and reduce pick-up and galling.
In several documented cases, petroleum-based lubricants have been replaced by water-based types, resulting in significant cost savings.
In general, lubricants used in the metal forming industry will not affect the TDX-treated surface. The Vanadium Carbide layer (TDX treatment) is highly impervious to any type of oxidation from substances as aggressive as acid-type solutions. For safety, we recommend that when changing to lubricants of unknown composition, testing be performed on an TDX surface.
Reduction or elimination of lubricant on TDX-treated tooling should be performed gradually. In most cases, the amount of lubricant reduction is dictated by the amount of heat generated during the operation of the tooling. Tool life comparisons at different lubrication levels should be studied for the best economies.
To reduce the use of lubricant on a part, all tooling subject to wear or galling must be TDX treated to achieve the desired results.