The tribology process generates friction which requires the use of a lubricant to protect the tool and die surface from scratching or galling. The lubricant also protects the sheet metal and finished part from the same surface abrasion as well as facilitate elastic material flow preventing rips, tears or wrinkles.
There are a variety of lubricants available for this task. They include plant and mineral oil based, animal fat or lard based, graphite based, soap and acrylic based dry films. The newest technology in the industry is polymer based synthetic lubricants also known as oil-free lubricants or non-oil lubricants.
The term “Water-Based” lubricant refers to the larger category that also includes more traditional oil and fat based compounds.