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Friction of Aluminium in Deep Drawing

Wilko C. Emmens, Jan Bottema


Hoogovens R&D, P.O.Box 10.000, 1970 CA IJmuiden, the Netherlands
IDDRG CONGRESS 1998

Abstract

Aluminium shows a large amount of asperity flattening in sliding friction contacts. This flattening
causes the friction to depend on pressure. This results in a wide range of mixed lubrication; pure
boundary lubrication is hard to obtain. In deep drawing friction occurs under conditions of increasing
pressure. As a result, the coefficient of friction in the blankholder can be very low, near hydrody-
namic lubrication.

1. Introduction

Using aluminium as the metal of choice in the automotive industry will help society to meet the de-
mands of its increasing commitment to the environment. In the past, significant gains in automobile
fuel efficiency have been achieved through aerodynamic design and drive train improvements. As
performance limits are approached in these areas, the recent interest is in alternate materials that will
allow lighter designs. Aluminium is increasingly attractive as a candidate for material substitution be-
cause of its strength and stiffness to weight ratio.
The penetration of aluminium in the automotive market is being led by the use of aluminium sheet
for closures. Compared with traditional steels, aluminium rolled products for doors, closures or
wings can bring a weight reduction of up to 50%. The basic requirement on automotive sheet is to
have a formability as high as possible without compromising its strength. Body panels are only semi-
structural; the main functional requirements being dent resistance and stiffness. In order to minimise
the part weight and cost, a high yield strength is required. However, the material also requires high
formability and minimal spring-back. The preferred approach has been to use heat treatable alumin-
ium alloys which have a low T4 strength, but which strengthen during paint baking finishing opera-
tions.
The principle choice of aluminium closure sheet among automotive manufacturers in Europe has
been AA6016, in contrast to North America where an emphasis on strength has led to the adoption
of AA6111 as the alloy of choice.
Since the 6016 alloy was introduced in the 80’s, various process improvements and compositional
adjustments within the AA range have been made to improve its formability, hemming performance
and response to lower temperature paint bake treatment.
In the 80’s, EDT surface texturing was introduced for the AA6016 alloy, to improve the forming
behaviour due to better lubrication. A recent development is the introduction of EBT surface textur-
ing. This type of texture combines high roughness with low waviness which is beneficial to forming
and to paint appearance.
The increasing use of aluminium has lead to an increase of research on the formability of aluminium
automotive sheet at Hoogovens R&D. During the tests it has been noticed that under certain condi-
tions the deep drawing behaviour of aluminium differs significantly from that of steel. This paper de-
scribes in more detail why the behaviour of aluminium is different from what is traditionally observed
for steel.
NOTE: in this paper the behaviour of aluminium is sometimes compared to that of steel, without
actually presenting results for steel. In general, uncoated steel has a classic behaviour, in such a way
that the influence of process conditions (and more specifically: the pressure) is fully described by a
single Stribeck curve without large additional effects. A full comparison between steel an aluminium
and more detailed information however can be found in [1].

2. Some deep draw results: defining the problem

In deep draw experiments the punch force is a convenient measure to study all kinds of influencing
factors. The relation between punch force and blankholder force is of particular interest, because the
slope of the curve which represents this relation is roughly twice the coefficient of friction in the
blankholder [1]. An example can be found in figure 1 (left) which shows results for a large cup (300
mm diameter) from aluminium. The slope of the curve is almost equal for all materials, in the range
0.29 - 0.34. This means that the coefficient of friction in the blankholder is roughly the same for all
materials. The different lines reflect differences in thickness and grade.
The right hand part of figure 1 shows other situations (with a different product) in which the relation
of punch force to blankholder force is not linear. At low blankholder forces the slope of the curve is
in agreement with values of the coefficient of friction which is measured in friction tests. At higher
blankholder forces the slope reduces to almost zero, leaving a very remarkable situation that the
blankholder force could be increased to the maximum of the press without causing fracture! This ef-
fect has already been observed by Kasuga [2] and appears to be typical for aluminium.
Kasuga attributed this effect to friction in the blankholder, and, to study this phenomenon more
specifically, friction tests on aluminium have been carried out in our laboratory.

300 52
large cup AA6016 small cup, 75 mm punch
AA5754
max. punch force (kN)

max. punch force (kN)

293 mm punch 1.2 mm 50 Al AA5754, 1.0 mm


1.2 mm
250 aluminium
48

46
200
AA5754
44
1.0 mm
150 42
0 100 200 300 400 0 50 100 150 200 250 300
blankholder force (KN) blankholder force (kN)

Figure 1. Examples of results of deep draw tests. The figure shows situations where the rela-
tion between (maximum) punch force and blankholder force is either linear (left), or not lin-
ear (right).

3. Friction tests: general principles.

The results of friction tests will be presented in the form of Stribeck curves. Although the use of
Stribeck curves is a very convenient way of mapping all kinds of effects on friction, they are rarely
used. In a Stribeck curve the measured coefficient of friction is plotted as a function of the Hershey
parameter H defined as H = ηv/P, where η is the dynamic viscosity of the lubricant, v the speed (it is
assumed that one of the two contacting surfaces is stationary), and P the external macroscopic pres-
sure. H has unit length (m) and traditionally is plotted on a logarithmic scale. A general representation
of the Stribeck curve is presented in figure 2 (left). Please note that both η, v and P are typical pa-
rameters which are defined by the process conditions. That means that the parameter H can been
considered to be a measure for the conditions of the process studied.
In a Stribeck curve three regimes of lubrication can easily be distinguished:
• boundary lubrication, where the total load is carried by the roughness asperities;
• hydrodynamic lubrication, where the total load is carried by the lubricant film;
• mixed lubrication, which is a mixture of boundary and hydrodynamic lubrication.
Originally, Stribeck curves were constructed for friction in journal bearings. In the study of friction
in forming processes it has been noticed however that the influence of pressure is not described
completely by the parameter H. It is therefore customary to construct different curves for each pres-
sure value.

0
BOUNDARY MIXED HYDRODYNAMIC
æ0
|

æO
friction coefficient
friction coefficient

ηv
H=
P
tanhyp fit

æhydr
0
HC logH1 logHC logH0
H (m), logarithmic logH

Figure 2. The Stribeck curve. The left hand figure gives a general representation in which the
three regimes of lubrication can be distinguished. The right hand figure shows how the tran-
sition points H0 and H1 can be calculated by fitting a tanhyp function through the measured
friction data. These points are at the intersection of three lines tangent to the curve.

The condition of boundary lubrication is of particular interest for the press shop. In conditions of
boundary lubrication the friction hardly depends on pressure, speed, lubricant viscosity or roughness.
This means that the result of the forming operation is hardly sensitive to variations in process condi-
tions or (some) material properties. In practice the condition of boundary lubrication is usually ob-
tained by applying a low-viscous lubricant, or by applying a very limited quantity of lubricant.
For a more detailed study of the friction the so-called transition points are of interest. These are the
values of H at the transition from boundary to mixed, and from mixed to hydrodynamic lubrication.
This points can be obtained by plotting three tangent lines to the curve and calculating the intersection
points, see figure 2, right. More precisely this is done by first fitting a tanhyp function through the
measured data, the shape of a tanhyp function fits the actual friction data in nearly all observed situa-
tions (both for steel and for aluminium).
4. Results of friction tests

The observed effect on the friction of aluminium will now be discussed on the basis of results of a
series of friction tests on aluminium with different types of roughness. The conditions for these ex-
periments are listed in table 1, and the material properties in table 2. Friction experiments have been
carried out in our laboratory using a rotating friction tester. In this tester a punch with three notches is
pushed against a flat sample and the sample is then rotated over some distance. Figure 3 shows the
shape of the punch; a more general description of the device can be found in [1,3].

Table 1.Conditions in friction tests.


Slider punch with three notches 12x12 mm² (as in figure 3)
speed 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 mm/s
pressure 2, 5, 10, 20 MPa
lubricant three mineral oils, viscosity at 20°C: 16, 55, 300 mPa.s

Table 2. Material properties in friction tests


material aluminium AA6016 T4
thickness 1.2 mm
roughness MF: MF type roughness, Ra = 0.11 / 0.25 µm (at 0° and 90° orientation)
EDT low: EDT type roughness, Ra = 0.41 µm
EDT high: EDT type roughness, Ra = 0.80 µm

0.20
friction coef. at boundary lubr.

0.18

0.16
MF

EDT low
0.14
100 mm
EDT high

Figure 3. Punch with three notches 0.12


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 30 40
as used in the rotating friction
pressure (MPa)
tester. The punch is pushed against
a material sample, after which the Figure 4. Friction at boundary lubrication as a func-
sample is rotated over 120°. tion of pressure, for three aluminium materials.

The results are presented in figure 5 as four sets of Stribeck curves, one set for each pressure
value. It can be seen that the area of mixed lubrication (the oblique part of the curve) is very wide,
spanning three or four orders of magnitude in H. This is much more than is usually seen for steel; for
steel the width of the mixed area is about one order of magnitude. Due to the wide area of mixed
lubrication the areas of boundary and hydrodynamic lubrication are very small.
Some important properties can be deduced from these curves. Compare now the results for both
EDT materials. These two materials have a roughness with identical structure but a difference in
roughness height. The Stribeck curves for these two materials are more or less ‘parallel’. The coeffi-
cient of friction at boundary lubrication (the friction value at the far left) is a little higher for the higher
roughness. The major difference however is that the curves for the higher roughness are shifted to the
right. This means that for process conditions in the mixed regime, material with higher roughness will
exhibit higher friction. This relation is generally valid for all kinds of materials. The results for MF are
not directly comparable to the results for EDT. At low pressures the friction of MF equals that of the
friction of the low EDT. At higher pressures the friction of MF 'travels' between the friction values of
the two EDT types, the slope of the curve in the mixed area is steeper than for EDT.

0.20 0.20
EDT high EDT high
coefficient of friction

EDT low

coefficient of friction
EDT low
0.15 MF 0.15 MF

0.10 0.10

0.05 0.05

2 MPa 5 MPa
0.00 0.00
-13 -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -13 -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6

log H (m) log H (m)


0.20 0.20
EDT high EDT high
EDT low EDT low
coefficient of friction

coefficient of friction

0.15 MF 0.15 MF

0.10 0.10

0.05 0.05

10 MPa 20 MPa
0.00 0.00
-13 -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -13 -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6

log H (m) log H (m)

Figure 5. Results of friction tests on three aluminium materials with different roughness, plot-
ted as a function of pressure and the Hershey parameter H. The lines are tanhyp functions fit-
ted though the data.

The influence of pressure can also be noticed in the friction of EDT. Firstly, the coefficient of fric-
tion at boundary conditions increases with increasing pressure. This can be deduced from figure 5,
but better from figure 4 where the values of the coefficient of friction at boundary lubrication as de-
termined using the tanhyp fits of figure 5, have been plotted as a function of pressure. This figure
again shows that the friction of MF differs from that of both EDT types of roughness. Secondly the
pressure also has an influence on the position of the Stribeck curve. This is more difficult to see from
figure 5, therefore the transition points as defined in figure 2 have been calculated, the results are
shown in figure 6 (left). This figure shows the large influence of pressure on the transition point. The
influence of pressure is larger for the MF roughness than for the EDT roughness. The influence of
pressure on the location of the transition point H1 (boundary - mixed lubrication) is particularly
strong. Increasing the pressure by a factor 10 (from 2 to 20 MPa) decreases the value of H1 by
more than a factor 100, logH1 reduces by approximately 2.2. In the right hand part of figure 6 results
from another series of tests are presented, illustrating that this strong influence of the pressure is also
found in other types of roughness such as EBT, and is a general property of aluminium. Some results
obtained for uncoated steel are presented as well for comparison. This strong influence of pressure
however strongly affects the behaviour of aluminium in deep draw operations, as will be shown now.

-7 -7

-8 H0 -8 H0

-9
log H (m)

-9

log H
|

-10 -10 H1
steel
EDT high
-11 -11 EBT
EDT low
MF
H1 EDT

-12 -12
1 2 3 4 5 6 78910 20 30 4050 1 2 3 4 5 6 78910 20 30 4050 log P

pressure (MPa) pressure (MPa)

Figure 6. Transition points as defined in figure 2, as functions Figure 7. Schematic repre-


of pressure. Boundary lubrication is below H1, mixed lubrica- sentation of a transition dia-
tion is between H1 and H0, and hydrodynamic lubrication is gram by analogy with figure
above H0. The left hand side shows results obtained from the 6. B, M and H denote the lu-
tests described above; the right hand side from similar tests in brication regimes (boundary,
which EBT roughness was compared with EDT roughness, mixed and hydrodynamic). P1
some results for uncoated steel are presented as well for com- and P2 denote conditions
parison. during deep drawing, see text

5. Implications of influence of pressure

To fully understand the consequences of the influence of pressure on friction we have to realise
what is happening during deep drawing.
The main source of friction in a deep draw operation is in the blankholder. During the deep draw
operation, material is pulled out of the blankholder area. Whereas in many cases the blankholder
force remains constant, this movement of material causes the normal pressure on the workpiece in
the blankholder to increase during the drawing operation. Due to plastic deformation the material will
thicken in the blankholder as depicted in figure 8 (left). This may proceed so far that the inner part of
the flange fully looses contact with the tool. This will further reduce the area of contact in the blank-
holder, and, due to the thickening, the blankholder force will be concentrated on the outer edge of
the flange.
To get a better idea of the actual conditions, finite element simulations have been carried out using
the tool geometry and material properties as used in the tests described hereafter. In figure 8 (right)
the normal pressure on the outer edge of the flange has been plotted as a function of the position of
the edge of the flange during the deep draw operation. If the material would not thicken, the normal
pressure would be equal to the blankholder force divided by the total area of the flange, this pressure
has also been plotted in figure 8 ("mean stress"). At the start of the operation the material is perfectly
flat and the pressure at the outer edge equals the lower limit. When the deep draw operation starts
and the material is being pulled out of the blankholder area (the flange edge moves inward), the ma-
terial starts to thicken at the edge and the load gets concentrated quickly at the outer edge: the nor-
mal pressure rises quickly. This continues to a situation were the inner part of the flange looses con-
tact with the tool; in that case the pressure on the outer edge is more than twice the mean stress.
When the operation proceeds the amount of plastic deformation in the flange increases and the actual
area of contact reduces again. In the final stages the pressure distribution on the flange becomes
more even and the pressure at the outer edge approximates the lower limit again.

120
mean stress x2
100 position of

normal stress (MPa)


die radius calculated stress
BLANKHOLDER 80 at flange edge
from simulation
PUNCH
60
mean stress
DIE
40
in total
blankholder
20 area

0
100 150 200 250 300

actual position of flange (mm)

Figure 8. Conditions at the flange in deep drawing. Due to plastic deformation the outer
flange edge will thicken, causing a concentration of the blankholder force on the outer part of
the flange (left). The right hand part shows results of a finite element simulation of a deep
draw operation, showing that the actual normal pressure during the drawing operation will
increase significantly. During the operation the flange will be drawn inwards, the actual posi-
tion of the flange edge is plotted as the abscissa. The mean stress is defined as the blankholder
force divided by the actual total area of the flange. A very high blankholder force has been
used in the calculations.

Now let's see what the effects of increasing pressure are on friction. Figure 7 presents a schematic
transition diagram, in the same way as figure 6. The labels B, M and H denote the three lubrication
regimes: boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication. Some possible H-P relations have been
indicated by the lines 1 - 4. The lines 1 and 3 represent the situation for materials which show only a
small influence of pressure on the transition points, as for steel. The lines 2 and 4 represent the situa-
tion for aluminium according to the results shown in figure 6.
A distinct tribological condition, defined by viscosity, speed and pressure, is presented in the dia-
gram by a given location. Suppose that the conditions in the blankholder at the start of the draw op-
eration are indicated by point P1. As has been shown, during the draw operation the (effective)
pressure in the flange will increase, the location of the condition shifts to position P2. The line con-
necting these two points has a slope -1. In the situation from figure 7 the trajectory P1-P2 intersects
line 3, entering the regime of boundary lubrication. This means that in situations where pressure
hardly affects the transition points, increase of the pressure will eventually cause the friction to oper-
ate under conditions of boundary lubrication. This is happening when processing steel.
For aluminium the situation as presented by the lines 2 and 4. The trajectory P1- P2 does not inter-
sect these lines. This means that a situation of boundary condition will not be reached. When also the
transition mixed-hydrodynamic shows a strong influence of pressure almost pure hydrodynamic lu-
brication might occur. Some evidence for that can be found in the results for EDT in figure 6 (left),
for higher pressures. The implication of all this is:

with aluminium it is not possible to shift from mixed lubrication to boundary lubrication
just by increasing the pressure

0.20 This statement is illustrated by the re-


20 10 5 2 MPa sults of figure 9, which have been ob-
coefficient of friction

0.15 2 tained from friction tests on anodised alu-


minium not described in this work. The
10
0.10 data of figure 9 for one value of the pres-
50 sure form a part of a Stribeck curve.
0.05 When we look at results obtained for one
200 mm/s
value of speed then increasing the pres-
0.00 sure is seen to shift the points in the
-12 -11 -10 -9 -8
Stribeck curve to the left (follow the ar-
log H (m) rows). However, whereas the Stribeck
Figure 9. Friction results illustrating effect of pres- curves themselves shift further to the left,
sure. Increasing pressure will reduce the friction increasing pressure actually reduces the
whereas the Stribeck curves shift to the left. friction!

6. Friction tests at high pressure

The influence of pressure on the friction of aluminium has been studied further by performing fric-
tion experiments at (very) high pressures. This was achieved by making a punch as in figure 3 with
very small notches (in fact two punches were used). The tests were carried out by increasing the
pressure in small steps on different samples. For the very small notches this process had to stop at a
pressure where suddenly severe scoring occurred. Inspection of the samples revealed that at that
point bulk plastic deformation under the notch occurred. Results obtained on aluminium 6000 EDT
are presented in figure 10, left. The two punches with different notch sizes used in the tests yielded
different results. This has been observed on many occasions, elsewhere as well, but so far no good
explanation have been found as to why in friction tests with flat sliders the friction depends on the size
of the slider.
Of more interest here is the influence of speed. If increasing the pressure would eventually lead to
boundary lubrication, the influence of speed would vanish. However the results show that even at
very high pressures the coefficient of friction decreases with increasing speed, indicating that lubrica-
tion is still mixed. Actually, the influence of speed does not depend on pressure, as can be seen in
figure 10, right.
0.20 0.14
medium notches
small notches 0.12
coefficient of friction

coefficient of friction
0.15

0.10
0.10
0.08
5 mm/s 90 MPa
0.05 20 mm/s 0.06
100 mm/s 140 MPa
0.00 0.04
0 50 100 150 200 5 20 100
pressure (MPa) speed (mm/s)

Figure 10. Results of friction tests at (very) high pressures. Left: friction as a function of
pressure. Right: friction as a function of speed.

7. Deep drawing experiments

Table 3. Conditions in deep draw experiments


punch 293 mm diameter, flat top, radius 20 mm
die gap 3,5 mm, radius 20 mm
blank diameter 480 and 520 mm (deep draw ratio: 1.64 and 1.77)
speed low = 4-8 mm/s, high = 27-53 mm/s
blankholder force various
lubricant preserving oil, viscosity at 20 °C: 55 mPa.s

Table 4. Material properties in deep draw tests


material aluminium AA6016 T4
thickness 1.2 mm
roughness EDT: EDT type roughness, Ra = 0.70 µm
EBT1: EBT type roughness, Ra = 0.95 µm
EBT2: EBT type roughness, Ra = 1.15 µm
yield stress 125 MPa
tensile strength 230 MPa
n 0.23

To further investigate the effects of friction at high pressure, deep draw experiments have been car-
ried out. These experiments were carried out on a large cylindrical cup, and apart from the blank-
holder force also the speed, the amount of lubricant and the blank diameter were varied. Test condi-
tions are stated in table 3, and an overview of material properties is given in table 4.
The speed of the press and the blankholder force showed a large interaction. Therefore the speed
could not be held constant during the series. However, two ranges of speeds have been obtained
with a difference large enough to allow conclusions about the influence of speed to be drawn. Two
dosages of lubricant were applied, hereafter simply called ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ condition. At the wet con-
dition an overdose was generously applied to the blank. At the dry condition a very small amount of
lubricant was applied to the blank and evenly distributed, after which the blank was wiped 'clean'
260 with a dry cloth. Moreover the
dry 480 mm EBT1 tool was wiped clean before each
240
maximum punch force (kN)

EBT2 pressing. This method left just


220 EDT
enough lubricant on the sheet to
200 prevent metal-to-metal contact
180 wet, slow (galling!) and ensure sparse
lubrication. However, the actual
160
amounts of lubricant have not
140
wet, fast been measured.
120 Results are presented in figure
0 500 1000 1500 2000
11, in general both blank diame-
blankholder force (kN)
ters show identical results. An in-
260
dry fluence of the speed is only pre-
520 mm
sent in the wet lubrication condi-
maximum punch force (kN)

240 EBT1
EBT2
tion. At that condition, the higher
220 EDT speed clearly results in a lower
punch force. At the dry condition
200 however there is no influence of
wet, slow speed, and the punch force is
180 much higher than at the wet lubri-
wet, fast cation condition. Moreover, an
160 influence of roughness can only be
0 500 1000 1500 2000

blankholder force (kN)


seen at the wet condition, and in
particular at the smallest blank
Figure 11. Results of friction tests on a large cylindrical
(less critical process). The slope
cup, for three types of aluminium with different rough-
of the punch force - blankholder
ness. Two blank diameters were used (480 mm and 520
force relation is very low, values
mm).
of 0.01 - 0.03 were calculated for
the combination of small blank,
high speed and wet condition. This indicates that the coefficient of friction was very low in the blank-
holder, and probably the condition of friction was not far away from pure hydrodynamic lubrication.
Consequently, the blankholder force could be increased until the limit of the press without causing
product failure. The observed influences of speed and amount of lubricant also indicate that the ob-
served phenomena are caused by friction effects.

8. Discussion

So far we have shown that the extreme pressure dependency of the transition points may cause the
friction in deep drawing of aluminium to decrease significantly. This is generally valid for all applica-
tions where the friction during the operation is subjected to a (continuously) increasing pressure. It
has not become clear where that large pressure dependency stems from.
The first author has already shown that aluminium is subjected to a severe amount of flattening of
the asperities in friction [3,4]. Figure 12 has been taken from those publications showing to what ex-
tent the roughness height may decrease under friction conditions. It has also been shown that after
‘correcting’ the measured coefficient of friction for this amount of flattening, the friction of aluminium
resembles that of steel for which the phenomena described in this report do not occur. The influence
of pressure on friction could be attributed to the influence of pressure on the flattening of the rough-
ness. Recently a model for mixed lubrication has been developed which takes into account the flat-
tening of the asperities [1]. Although the model is very simple, it successfully predicts the observed
phenomena. Figure 14 shows results of calculations compared to actually recorded Stribeck curves.
The sharp transition from mixed to hydrodynamic lubrication predicted by the model stems from the
fact that the model assumes all asperities to have the same height, whereas of course in practice the
asperity heights show a statistical distribution. Because the model cannot predict the friction at
boundary lubrication, the recorded curves have been normalised to a coefficient of friction at bound-
ary lubrication of 1. The agreement between predicted and measured friction is satisfactory.

3.5 1.10

3.0
2.5
RPM (æm)

1.00

Ra / Ra,0
2.0
1.5 2 MPa
5 MPa 0.90
1.0
10 Mpa
0.5 20 MPa
0.0 0.80
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
-12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6
travel distance (mm)
log H (m)

Figure 12. Reduction of roughness height (de- Figure 13. Relative reduction of Ra in the
picted by Rpm) in friction contacts [4]. friction tests as a function of slider travel
distance.

1.2 1.2
relative friction coefficient

relative friction coefficient

1.0 1.0

0.8 0.8
0
20 20
0.6 0.6
10 10
0.4 5 0.4 5

0.2 2 0.2 2

0.0 0.0
-12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -12 -11 -10 -9 -8 -7
logH (m) logH (m)

Figure 14. Influence of pressure on Stribeck curves as predicted by a simple friction model
(left), and as actually measured for aluminium in the form of tanhyp fits through the data
points (right). The numbers at the lines denote pressures in MPa. Figure from [1]. Relative
friction is defined as µ/µ0.

The question still remains why for aluminium the asperities flatten so much more than for steel. Mi-
cro hardness measurements indicate that the hardness of aluminium is roughly half of the value for
soft steel (for the materials used in our tests). But both are much softer than the tool, which is roughly
five times as hard as of soft steel. So for both materials we have a situation that a soft working mate-
rial slides against a hard tool. This still does not account for the large difference in flattening for steel
and aluminium. Recently the first author has suggested [1,5] that the flattening mechanism proposed
by Tabor [6] might occur. This mechanisms implies that flattening happens almost instantaneously
when sliding begins. However, the results presented in figure 13 show that a certain amount of sliding
is necessary for full flattening, contradictory to the mechanism proposed by Tabor. So it still may be
just a matter of mechanical properties. Please note that the results presented in figure 13 have been
obtained from very rude tests and are only to be used as an indication. More research is needed.
Kasuga proposed that the phenomena observed are caused by hydrostatic lubrication due to lubri-
cant trapped in isolated pockets. This mechanism is not accepted everywhere, but evidence for this
mechanism has been found in earlier experiments in our laboratory [1,4]. A possible contribution of
hydrostatic lubrication can only occur when lubricant is actually trapped in pockets, and the severe
flattening of roughness at aluminium can cause such state. It is recommended to put more emphasis
on the study of (additional) hydrostatic lubrication in metal forming.

9. Conclusions

• Aluminium shows a strong flattening of roughness asperities in sliding contact.


• The flattening of asperities induces a strong influence of pressure on the process conditions at
which mixed lubrication occurs.
• For aluminium, it is not possible to go from mixed lubrication to boundary lubrication just by in-
creasing the pressure.
• In deep drawing of aluminium, situations may occur in which the product does not fracture, even
at the highest blankholder force.

10. Literature

[1] Emmens, W.C., Tribology of Flat Contacts, and its Application in Deep Drawing, Thesis Univer-
sity of Twente, the Netherlands, 1997
[2] Kasuga, Y., Yamaguchi, K., Friction and lubrication in the deformation of metals, 1st report, Bul-
letin JSME, vol. 11, no. 44, 1968, pp 344-353
[3] Emmens, W.C., A Novel Design Friction Tester, IDDRG Working Group Meetings, Pisa, Italy,
May 1991
[4] Emmens, W.C., Schoepen, F., Some frictional aspects of aluminium in sheet metal forming, Pro-
ceedings 14th IDDRG Congress, Eger, Hungary, June 10-14 1996. pp 487-496
[5] Emmens, W.C., Some Frictional Aspects of Aluminium in Deep Drawing. Proceedings 1st Inter-
national Congress on Tribology of Manufacturing Processes (ICTMP), Gifu, Japan, October 1997,
pp. 114-121
[6] Tabor, D., Junction Growth in Metallic Friction: the Role of Combined Stresses and Surface
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