nGlide® Superflow SPF Coating Lubricant
Aerodynamic bodies from monolithic lightweight metal alloys are imminent for vehicles.
They are manufactured by stretching sheet-metals > 100%, and traditional lubricants fail due to friction, resulting in ruptured parts. The problem is at nanoscale and nGlide® Superflow is nanoengineered multi-functional coating for metal forming applications.
Globally, automotive vehicles demand complex aerodynamic and aesthetically appealing body shapes, one example being the Tesla Model-X. These bodies are monolithic lightweight metals manufactured by superplastic forming (SPF) using complex dies under severe pressure and temperature demanding high productivity. Metal elongation (>100%) squeezed between die and mold, causes severe friction and wear at the interface of sheet metal – die surface at nanoscale and demands multifunctionality, high temperature lubrication and corrosion protection. nGlide® macromolecular coating platform delivers multifunctionality at nanoscale. NanoMech collaborated with companies Tesla and Verbom to successfully validate this innovation.
The traditional stamping process limits manufacturing of advanced complex body shapes along with limitation of micro particle lubricants. Patented nGlide® macromolecular powered nGlide® Superflow coating has demonstrated success at SPF with major 30% productivity enhancement, better surface finish and staggering 67% reduction in part cleaning time under severe SPF metal forming condition. This innovation is an environmentally friendly water-based system, easy to apply, non-staining and non-corrosive. This product innovation only costs 33% of legacy product ($60-75/gallon compared to $190+/gallon), demonstrating “less-is-more” philosophy. It strategically increases industrial competitiveness and consumer value.
nGlide® Superflow has the ability to make the SPF process a reality for traditional automotive OEMs such that advanced energy saving body designs can be manufactured in high volume and at an affordable price. It is making a big impact for Tesla by increasing productivity while decreasing post-forming processing time, maintenance costs on dies and molds, downtime and use of less coating material. Superflow started with the vision of bringing SPF to the next level, and with its success, it is poised to address the tougher demands (extreme condition, fast forming, etc.) of the entire metal forming industry leading to higher productivity, better profitability, and sustainability, ultimately advancing global competitiveness of American products.
Existing superplastic forming (SPF) lubricants are inferiorly designed using a single functional additive with micron size particles with an inability to provide lubrication at the sub-micron scale desired for SPF. This results in lower productivity due to high friction between metal-die, causing rupture of parts, accumulation of lubricant on dies, corrosion and reduced surface finish of parts. Unlike those lubricants, nGlide® Superflow innovation delivers high temperature lubrication and corrosion protection at the nanoscale at the metal-die interface using balanced macromolecular combinatorial chemistries. It is the future of metal forming lubrication, with the opportunity to extend the SPF process to the high volume automotive industry.
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