The influences of lubricant viscosity and loading velocity on the surface finish of plastically compressed 6061 aluminum alloy cylinders were studied. Specimens with polished end faces were subjected to compression between two flat, chromium plated dies, with lubricants of a viscosity ranging from 42 cp to 1207 cp at 38 deg C. The deformed surfaces were studied under a scanning electron microscope and by stylus tracings and CLA readings. With the lighter lubricants surface roughening resulted from preferential yielding leading to a clear delineation of grain boundaries and slip lines. With the heavier lubricants, localized “hydrodynamic pockets” formed in addition to the above features. The depth of pockets increased with viscosity and/or velocity.