Forming sheet metal parts in the absence of lubricants is not practical in production operations. In practice, large amounts of liquid and grease lubricants are utilized in sheet forming to ensure that there is sufficient lubrication to reduce asperity interaction and increase formability. In the present investigation, an alternative environmentally friendly lubricant is introduced for sheet metal forming processes. This lubricant is based on a combination of boric acid and canola oil, both of which are natural, environmentally friendly, and have independently demonstrated good lubrication potential. Utilizing a specialized sheet metal stretching apparatus, an optimized boric acid and canola oil formulation was evaluated for use in metal forming operations. Based on the experimental results, the optimized lubricant shows substantial potential for providing the manufacturing community with a commercially viable and environmentally friendly lubricant that will eliminate expensive disposal costs.

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