Lubricants in the glass industry
When it comes to the glass industry, much is discussed about its importance for segments such as automotive, food, pharmaceutical, and construction. According to the report “Considerations about the glass industry in Brazil”, released by the BNDES, Brazil is among the main world producers of glass and has an annual installed capacity of around 3.1 million tons. But, what few know is that, for this industry to function assertively, it is necessary to have adequate lubricants in the manufacturing processes of glass products such as bottles, jars, thermos ampoules, syringes, cartridges, automotive glass, glass planes, in addition to structural glass.
The importance of lubricants in equipment that covers the entire glass production process represents one of the most severe lubrication challenges. This is because the combination of extreme temperatures and high speeds requires innovative solutions from lubricant manufacturers. These requirements are essential at all stages of the manufacturing process, so it is always necessary to pay attention to the use of high technology and performance lubricants. These lubricants are present in the entire development process and in the equipment, from the raw material mixing silo to its final packaging.
Currently, there are specific lubricants on the market for the lubrication of equipment in the manufacture of glass for the food, pharmaceutical, and medicinal industry. Using glass packaging not only provides better protection in the packaging of food but also causes less impact on the environment, since it is 100% recyclable and follows a standard of healthiness.
In the automotive sector, for example, lubricants used in automobile windshield and window manufacturing processes are used in cutting, drilling and roughing operations, with a large share in the cooling of tools, in addition to providing product finishing. This is because there are lubricants that are designed to ensure cleanliness throughout the process, lubricating and cooling the cutting tool. In addition, there are products available on the market that can be used for all types of flat glass, including coated glass, automotive and structural glass, offering optimal performance based on the type and thickness of the material to be cut.
Companies like FUCHS – the largest independent lubricant manufacturer in the world, have within their global development strategy, the objective of serving the glass industry through the lubrication competence center of this segment, working with the main OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer ), globally coordinating and managing the development of new products and the transfer of knowledge and technology to its branches around the world. In this way, the market gains complete solutions for all lubrication requirements throughout the glass making process.
Lubricants used in the manufacture of glass packaging
- Synthetic oils for IS machines
Synthetic oils have been formulated to meet the most stringent requirements of leading IS machine manufacturers. This type of lubricant offers excellent thermal and oxidation stability, which combine with minimal carbon formation trends to provide more efficient production, high quality products, extended machine downtime and lower energy costs.
- Lubricants for scissors (knives)
Spray application lubricants for scissors are designed to provide excellent lubrication, with cooling and corrosion protection features. In addition, these products extend the cutting performance and blade life, provide high cutting precision and are still biodegradable, with high dilution rates and thermal tolerance.
- Lubricants for lining the gutters and drop accelerators
Coatings for the droplets and drop accelerators are lubricants designed to reduce the coefficient of friction between the droplet and the duct, allowing faster and more consistent drop loading. The coatings consist of a graphite epoxy resin that is painted on the equipment, in order to maximize the drop loading performance in the mold and allowing to increase productivity.
- Release agents for molds and crowns (lick)
There is also a premium line of lube lubricants that provide excellent forming consistency, superior quality and cleanliness of the mold and crown, extended lick cycles and reduced accumulation of waste in the molds. These products are suitable for all processes, including BB, PB, and NNPB processes used in the glass industry.
- SWABMATIC – Spray lubricant technology for robots
The automatic lick has proven its general efficiency in the glass packaging process. This modern technology has gradually entered the market and is now known as standard equipment by glass factories, robot manufacturers, and OEMs of IS machines. Quality lubricants play a key role in the success of the automated lick operation.
The glass market also has state-of-the-art features such as SWABMATIC technology, which fits perfectly into any automated lick installation. With a “less is more” approach, SWABMATIC generates superior process results with very low application rates, being suitable for all robots, processes, and types of glass.
There are also lubricants for pre-coating the mold and the neck ring (VITROLIS SPC). In order to avoid marks and scratches in traffic, there are cold-coated fluids such as VITROLIS CEC 5/80, which guarantees high resistance.
- Pharmaceutical and medical glasses
The manufacture of high-quality pharmaceutical and medicinal products has been a trend, since it understands the strict quality requirements of the pharmaceutical industry, meeting from the standard level to NSF-H1 lubricants tailored to meet the requirements of ISO 21469.
- Flat and automotive glass
Cutting, drilling and grinding fluids: the fluid line is based on low-odor hydrocarbons and designed to ensure excellent cleaning during the process. The products can be used for all types of flat glass, including hard and soft-coated glass, automotive and structural glass, and can be selected to provide optimal performance based on the type and thickness of the material to be cut.
How to choose the ideal lubricant for the glass industry
The first step in selecting the ideal lubricant is to know the product to be manufactured and its applications, the equipment to be used, the type of operation, as well as the need for finishing the product. Some equipment that must receive lubricants are fans, mixers, IS machines, scissors, distributors, conveyors, channels, molds, preforms, cutting, and drilling machines, among others.
In order to select the correct lubricant for the equipment in your industry, it is necessary to pay attention to the high viscosity index, the performance against wear, the smallest formation of residues, the greatest stability to thermal degradation, the greatest stability to oxidative degradation, the lowest lick frequencies, the highest relubrication frequencies, the low level of smoke, the best finish of the articles, the high level of lubrication, the excellent wettability and dispersion, the reduction of the level of defects, the increase in the level of cleaning of molds and minimizing the operator’s exposure to risk. Thus, if a suitable lubricant is not used, you may run the risk of having a high level of rejected products. When making flat glasses, not properly cooling the cutting tool can cause wear and damage to the product to be cut. In addition, the finish of the cut can cause cracks in the glass. So always be vigilant when selecting the ideal lubricant for your industry.