What Is A Food Lubricant?

aluminum foil container

Three win guarantees for food safety, production efficiency and cost control

Along with the continuous improvement of aluminum foil production process, aluminum foil has more advantages in food packaging industry due to its plasticity, safety and hygiene, environmental protection and reuse. Among them, molded aluminum foil lunch boxes are widely used for their convenience and portability. Aviation food and large-scale event catering supply has developed rapidly in recent years. The development of the industry has brought higher production requirements and industry standard requirements. How to correctly select the lubrication products suitable for the production process of aluminum foil lunch boxes, to ensure higher food safety and production efficiency, is becoming a close enterprise of many aluminum foil lunch boxes. Concerns.

What is a food lubricant?

aluminum foil container

Lubricants used in food foil packaging must conform to all the characteristics of conventional lubricants, that is, to achieve all the technical parameters required to reduce friction and wear, as well as to avoid corrosion, good heat dissipation, and sealing effectiveness. In addition, they also need to meet food regulations and biological inertia, that is, do not affect the taste, do not affect the odor, do not affect the color, and comply with multiple international standards.

Food grade lubrication products are certified in 3H, H1 and H2 grades. The certification is judged by the NSF International Agency (independent certification body).

Class 3H lubricants are suitable for applications where the lubricant must come into contact with food, such as oven molds.

H1 grade lubricants are suitable for applications where the lubricant is easily or unavoidable in contact with food.

H2 grade lubricants are suitable for applications where they are not in direct contact with food.

Aluminum foil lunch box production process and lubrication requirements

aluminum foil container

The production process of aluminum foil lunch boxes is roughly divided into: six-step process: material exhibition → oiling → feeding → stamping forming → blanking → testing. During the production process, the aluminum foil is subjected to a pressing force of 40 to 80 tons, a stamping frequency of 1 to 2 seconds, an average production capacity of 20,000 per day, and an aluminum foil lunch box with a shelf life of 2 years. In this production process, lubricating oil plays a very important role, including: heat dissipation, temperature reduction, protection of aluminum foil surface, protection of stamping equipment and molds, rust prevention, corrosion prevention and prevention of adhesion of aluminum foil surface (adapted to pre-coated lubricant) The aluminum foil needs to be rolled up, such as the aluminum foil of the aluminum factory.)

So what are the specific requirements for the lubricant and lubrication methods in the aluminum foil lunch box industry?

1) Viscosity and load-carrying performance: The viscosity of the lubricating oil required for the aluminum foil lunch box industry ranges from 2 to 150 mm 2 /s, and the appropriate viscosity grade is selected according to the material of the aluminum foil, the type of the lunch box and the external dimensions. For example, the wrinkle-free lunch box, because of its thick aluminum foil, the elongation and deformation of the aluminum foil during the production process is large, the lubricating oil of higher viscosity should be selected, and the lubricating oil must have excellent lubricating performance and bearing performance. If the lubricant is not properly selected, it is necessary to apply the lubricant multiple times to achieve the high lubrication requirements of the wrinkle-free lunch box.

2) Temperature resistance: due to the large punching pressure during the production process, it has reached more than 40 tons, and the stamping frequency is high. The surface of the equipment and the mold is heated by friction. If it is not dissipated in time, the service life of the equipment and the mold will be greatly reduced. . The working temperature of equipment and mold is about 70 °C, and the reasonable high temperature resistance of lubricating oil should be higher than 20 °C above this temperature, that is, the reasonable temperature resistance of lubricating oil is: -10 °C ~ 90 °C.

3) Oiling amount: Different aluminum foil materials, lunch box types and external dimensions, the demand for lubricating oil is also different, and the required oiling amount ranges from 30mg to 1g/m2. If the oiling amount is low, the lubrication will be insufficient, and the produced lunch box will be easily deformed, damaged or even scrapped; on the contrary, if the oiling amount is high, the lubrication will be excessive, and the produced lunch box will easily stick to the mold surface, which is not easy. When the material is blanked, it needs to be taken out and stopped, which will seriously affect the production efficiency. At the same time, excessive lubrication is also a waste.

aluminum foil container

With Klüber food grade lubricant PARALIQP68, the production rate of aluminum foil lunch boxes reached 99%.

4) Oiling method: According to different lubrication requirements, the oiling method is single-sided oiling and double-sided oiling. Single-sided oiling is suitable for occasions where the type of lunch box is simple, the deformation of aluminum foil is small, and the lubrication requirements are low. This oiling method can strictly control the amount of oil applied and avoid unnecessary waste. For example, when stamping aluminum foil containers for egg tarts, With Klüber PARALIQP68, you can achieve the required lubrication requirements with one side oiling; if you use ordinary oil, you still need double-sided oiling. In most cases, double-sided oiling is the main method.
5) Degreasing (when using ordinary lubricating oil): After the aluminum foil lunch box is stamped, if the food grade lubricating oil is not used, the oil on the surface must be removed first, because the ordinary lubricating oil cannot be in direct contact with the food. If the surface layer is not degreased, it will affect the color, taste and even safety of the food. Once the ordinary lubricating oil can not be decomposed and not excreted after entering the human body, it will stay in the human body for a long time. If it is eaten for a long time, it will cause physical discomfort or dizziness, and severe cases may cause poisoning. But for now, removing the aluminum foil surface lubricant is still an extremely complicated process and expensive.

6) Aluminum foil lunch box shelf life: the finished aluminum foil lunch box is not directly to the consumer, and needs many intermediate links such as inventory, transportation, sales, etc., especially for many export-oriented lunch box manufacturers, only the shipping cycle consumption It takes more than two months, so the shelf life of the finished aluminum foil lunch box must be more than one year. The regulations of many European and American countries are 2 years. That means that the shelf life of the aluminum foil lunch box surface lubricants must be at least 2 years. Ordinary lubricants and olive oil used in some companies cannot meet this shelf life requirement.

aluminum foil container

In summary, the aluminum foil lunch box has a very high requirement for lubrication, and the selection of suitable high-performance lubricating oil can ensure high production efficiency, high product yield, longer equipment and die life, and lower. The labor cost, lower energy consumption, and thus bring more benefits to the enterprise.

For the special lubrication requirements of the aluminum foil lunch box industry, Klüber Lubricants has introduced a variety of food grade lubricants with H1 or 3H certification, such as Klüber PARALIQP68 stamping oil specially developed for the aluminum foil industry. The oil is colorless and tasteless. It is food grade and it stands out in terms of lubrication, load bearing, protection of friction surfaces, rust/corrosion, etc. The sealed shelf life of this series of products is 5 years, which can fully meet the storage shelf life of aluminum foil lunch boxes for 2 years. This series of products has a wide range of applications in the pharmaceutical, health care products, aviation food, milk powder packaging, composite aluminum foil packaging and other industries in Europe, America and Asia. This special food grade lubricant can be directly in contact with food, eliminating the complex and costly work of removing oil from the foil surface, and these lubricants require only a small amount to perform all of the above lubrication. And the protection performance not only ensures food safety, but also improves production efficiency and reduces production costs.

Aibang aluminum foil lunch box at the World Expo

Food grade lubricants improve the safety of aluminum foil lunch boxes
The aluminum foil lunch box has direct contact with the food. According to the definition of the NSF organization, “H1 or 3H lubricants are suitable for those where the lubricant is easy or impossible to avoid contact with food”, so the food grade must be used in the production of aluminum foil lunch boxes. Lubricants ensure food safety.

The safety of lubrication is being recognized by more and more aluminum foil lunch box companies. As the Shanghai World Expo will be supplied to the central kitchen of the Expo Park in 100,000 days during the 184 days of the exhibition. And the production of a total of 18.4 million aluminum foil lunch boxes, all using Klüber PARALIQP68 stamping oil as lubrication, fully guarantee the food safety of workers and volunteers during the Expo.

aluminum foil container

“Lubricating oils used in food foil packaging must comply with all the characteristics of conventional lubricants. They need to meet food regulations and biological inertia, that is, they do not affect the taste, do not affect the odor, do not affect the color, and comply with multiple international standards.”

High-quality lubricants enhance the production efficiency of aluminum foil lunch boxes

In addition to food safety considerations, high-quality lubricants can also help improve the production efficiency of aluminum foil lunch boxes and achieve cost control.

1) Excellent food grade lubricants can improve the qualified rate of aluminum foil lunch box production and save maintenance personnel time, thus further improving production efficiency.

2) In terms of equipment and molds, the characteristics of high-quality lubricants will be more significant. Thanks to good lubrication, component protection is enhanced and the service life is extended, saving even more costs.

3) When using high-efficiency special lubrication products, the equipment not only improves the operating efficiency, but also reduces the energy consumption. This is more apparent from the perspective of the entire factory.

After adjusting the production lubrication, using the high quality Krupp food grade lubricant PARALIQP68, the company’s annual production efficiency can be increased by 10%, labor cost can be 10%, equipment life can be extended by more than 20%, the product is qualified The rate has also increased by 5%.

The use of suitable food-grade lubricants can help aluminum foil lunch box manufacturers achieve “three wins” in the three aspects of “food safety”, “production efficiency” and “cost control”, and comprehensively enhance the competitiveness of enterprises.

Aluminum foil as a material with light weight, low density, high barrier property, light blocking, UV resistance, moisture resistance, good corrosion resistance, good heat insulation, long shelf life, good ductility, flexibility and high resource recycling. Safety and environmentally friendly materials will surely become a continuous choice for perfect food packaging. According to relevant information, China’s per capita annual consumption of aluminum is about 2 kilograms, about 1/10 of the per capita annual consumption of aluminum in developed countries, and 1/3 of the world’s per capita annual consumption of aluminum. According to the European Aluminum Foil Industry Association, more than 70% of aluminum foil is used in various packaging products in Europe. In the United States, the ratio is as high as 75%, and the consumption of aluminum foil for packaging in Japan accounts for 70%, of which only food packaging accounts for 30% of aluminum foil consumption. According to incomplete statistics, the annual export volume of aluminum foil lunch boxes in China is about 300-500 million US dollars. This shows that the demand for aluminum foil lunch boxes and aluminum foil packaging products in the global market will inevitably be irreplaceable and sustainable.

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