The disadvantages of using forming oil as a lubricant in metalworking

The use of mineral oil-based forming oil as a lubricant in metalworking processes brings with it certain challenges that need to be considered. The following problems arise in comparison to modern, oil-free lubricants:
Innenansicht Umformwerkzeug

Environmental impact

Forming oils are often based on mineral oil, which can only be broken down very slowly. These oils can enter the environment and cause soil and water pollution. Ecological and human health risks are further significant disadvantages.

Health risks

During the use of forming oil, problematic, harmful vapours may be produced depending on the temperatures. These vapours can cause respiratory irritation, headaches and other health complaints. Direct skin contact with forming oil is also directly linked to skin irritation and allergic reactions.


The use of conventional forming oil requires the cleaning of workpieces and machines, which necessitates additional work steps and the use of special cleaning agents. This costs time and money. Although the acquisition costs for forming oil may be low, the total costs can increase considerably due to machine, tool and part cleaning, disposal of leakage oil and possible health expenses. The supposed cost benefits usually turn out to be deceptive.

Tool wear

Chlorine-free forming oil can lead to increased wear of tools and workpieces, which can result in increased downtimes and maintenance costs.

Follow-up processes

Forming oil is not suitable for all metalworking processes, especially not for applications involving high temperatures or subsequent processes such as welding, bonding, soldering and painting. These properties of forming oil can therefore lead to quality problems.

Taking these challenges into account, the modern, oil-free lubricants from LBI oil free have clear advantages in metalworking. They not only offer improved environmental compatibility and occupational safety, but also higher performance and longer tool life. Companies looking for sustainable and efficient solutions should consider the benefits of oil-free lubricants in their purchasing decisions in order to avoid the aforementioned problems associated with the use of forming oil.
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