Concentrated High Film Strength Reactive Soap Lubricant - Freiborne Industries, Inc Concentrated High Film Strength Reactive Soap Lubricant - Freiborne Industries, Inc

Product Type: Formlube 231

Highly concentrated reactive soap lubricant that provides exceptionally high film strength when used in conjunction with Formcoat zinc phosphate coatings. Formlube 231 is dry enough to be used with auger and spiral feed systems.


FORMLUBE 231 is a reactive soap lubricant that has exceptionally high film strength when used in conjunction with Formcoat zinc phosphate coatings. It has applications in most metal forming operations. Formlube 231 is better suited for use in automated feed systems, like auger based systems, than FORMLUBE 1 or FORMLUBE 7.

Mild steel is suitable for processing equipment including the tank, heat exchangers, and piping. A weir with a recirculating pump is desired in order to aid in dissolving the FORMLUBE 231 as well
as preventing cooled and solidified FORMLUBE 231 from depositing on the material being coated. Processing baths should be continuously agitated in a manner that minimizes foaming. The tank and heating coil should be individually grounded and bonded to prevent electrical eddy currents from causing pinhole leaks in the equipment. For more information on tank design please contact your Freiborne representative.

Build up is accomplished by partially filling the tank with water, typically about half full, and adding FORMLUBE 231 to achieve your desired concentration. Heat this solution to 1800-2000F with active stirring to dissolve the FORMLUBE 231. Heating the water prior to adding the FORMLUBE 231 will aid in quickly dissolving the lubricant. Care must be exercised when adding the FORMLUBE 231 to prevent splashing. Once the lubricant is dissolved the bath can be filled to the operating volume with water and the temperature can be adjusted to the desired
operating temperature. No work should be processed through the bath until all of the FORMLUBE 231 has been dissolved and the tank is at its targeted operating temperature.

Maintenance additions: routine additions used to maintain the concentration should be added to the weir section if the tank is equipped with one.

Formcoat treated parts, which have been preheated and neutralized, are immersed in the
FORMLUBE 231 solution for 3-5 minutes at temperatures ranging from 165o-190oF. The lower end of this range is better to facilitate reaction. The appearance and coating weight of the FORMLUBE 231 coating will change depending on the operating concentration and temperature. Coatings will be more translucent (less white in appearance) at higher operating temperatures.

The FORMLUBE 231 bath should not be heated to over 205oF as this can permanently damage the lubricant bath and severely affect its performance during forming operations.

To maintain the bath’s performance it should be regularly tested and adjusted to maintain
operating parameters. Processing parameters can vary widely based on individual processes
and performance requirements. Typical operating parameters are listed below. Your Freiborne representative will help develop the proper operating parameters for your specific needs.

Typical Operating concentrations:

FORMLUBE 231 is typically used at concentrations ranging from 0.25 to a maximum of 2.0 pounds per gallon depending on the severity of the forming jobs being performed. Below is a general guideline regarding typical FORMLUBE 231 concentrations.

Typical Processing Sequence for FORMLUBE 231:

1. FREICLEAN series cleaner
2. Warm Water Rinse
3. Acid Pickling
4. Spray Rinse
5. Cold water rinse
6. Hot water preheat
7. FORMCOAT zinc phosphate treatment
8. Cold water rinse
10. FORMLUBE 231

Bath Life:

As work is processed through the FORMLUBE 231 bath metallic contaminants will build up in the bath, referred to as metals. As the metals content increases the reactivity of the lubricant will diminish to the point where the bath will need to be discarded and a fresh made. Freiborne’s rule of thumb maximum metals level is 0.100%. The maximum contaminant level (metals %) will vary for each operation and should be determined through operational experience.

Numerous methods exist for the dumping and disposal of FORMLUBE 231 baths. Typically, the FORMLUBE 231 bath is “fluidized” with ADDITIVE 3 or ADDITIVE 3L to keep the bath in a liquid form to aid in transportation to a treatment facility or in-house filtration of the spent bath.

The sample of FORMLUBE 231 used for testing should be kept hot enough so that it does not
begin to solidify during the tests. Prepare a bath of boiling deionized or distilled water in a 1000
or 2000 ml beaker filled ¾ full. Place a 10 ml graduated pipette in the hot water bath. This
heated pipette should be used to measure out the samples of FORMLUBE 231 to prevent the
sample from solidifying in the pipette during sampling.

Free Acid/Free Alkali:

1. Pour 200 ml of Testing Solution 51 into a suitable beaker and bring it to a boil in a fume
2. To the boiling solution add Testing Solution 11 dropwise until the clear solution turns a very slight pink, which normalizes the solution.
3. Add 10 mls of the hot FORMLUBE 231 and allow the solution to boil for one minute.
4. Titrate the solution as follows:

The recommended range is from 0.3 Free Alkali to 0.5 Free Acid.

High Free Acid:

High Free Acid may be corrected by addition of Neutralizer 36. An addition of 1 gallon of
Neutralizer 36 per 1000 gals will lower the Free Acid about 0.2 points. If Neutralizer 36 is not available sodium hydroxide (predissolved in water) may be used to adjust the free acid. An addition of 10 ounces of sodium hydroxide solid (diluted with water) or 372 mls of 50% caustic soda liquid per 1000 gals will reduce the Free Acid by 0.2 points.

High Free Alkali:

With high Free Alkali, an addition of 2 lbs of ADDITIVE 42 per 1000 gals lowers the Free Alkali 0.15 points. If ADDITIVE 42 is not available an addition of 106 mL of 96% (66o Be’) sulfuric acid, diluted with water, per 1000 gals will lower the Free Alkali 0.1 points. Freiborne does not recommend using Sulfuric Acid to adjust the free alkali down as it can permanently damage the FORMLUBE 231 bath resulting in diminished performance.


Concentration by Quick Babcock Test (Unfiltered):

1. Add 10 ml of Testing Solution 51 into an 8% Babcock milk test bottle
2. Add 10 ml of hot FORMLUBE 231 into the Babcock bottle
3. Add an additional 10 ml of Testing Solution 51 into the Babcock bottle to rinse down the neck
4. Add 10 mls of Testing Solution 44 to the Babcock bottle and place the bottle in the hot water bath for 10 to 30 minutes.
5. Remove the bottle from the hot water bath, allow it to cool for 1 minute
6. Slowly add 10 ml of Testing Solution 44 (50% H2SO4).
7. Add hot water to bring this layer into the graduated neck of the bottle.
8. The difference between the sharply defined upper and lower readings of this clear oily layer is the Babcock Number

Concentration by Filtered Babcock test:

1. Add 10 ml of Testing Solution 51 into a small beaker and heat, followed by 10 ml of hot FORMLUBE 231.
2. Filter this through a fast filter paper into an 8% Babcock milk test bottle and wash the filter paper with another 10 ml of hot Testing Solution 51. Hint: if the solution has a tendency to spit out of the Babcock bottle during heating you can add 5 mls of Testing Solution 44 prior to heating to help
prevent this.
3. Place the Babcock milk test bottle in the hot water bath for 10 to 30 minutes
4. Remove the bottle from the hot water bath, allow it to cool for 1 minute, and slowly add 20 ml (15 mls if you previously added 5 mls) of Testing Solution 44 (50% H2SO4).
5. Mix well and place the bottle back into the hot water bath until an oil layer will forms on top of the solution;
6. Add hot water to bring this layer into the graduated neck of the bottle.
7. The difference between the sharply defined upper and lower readings of this clear oily layer is the Babcock Number.

Concentration by % Solids:

1. Weigh an aluminum drying pan to the nearest 0.001grams and record its weight as W1
2. Add 10 ml of the FORMLUBE 231 bath sample (make sure the sample is still liquid and well mixed) to the aluminum drying pan.
3. Place the drying pan in a drying oven at 200-240oF until all of the water has evaporated (approximately an hour). You may use a hot plate instead of an oven to dry the sample but be careful not to burn the sample.
4. Remove the aluminum drying pan from the oven and allow it to cool (preferably in a dessicator)
5. Reweigh the aluminum drying pan and record its weight to the nearest 0.001 gram as W2
6. Calculate the concentration of Formlube 231 as follows:

Additional Information

Temp Range



Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Copper/Brass


Drawing, Extrusion

Product Type


Product Line




Ordering Information

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