The tribological system plays a critical part in designing robust and efficient cold forging operations. The appropriate selection of lubrication allows to forge defect-free workpieces with high dimensional precision and desired surface finish while ensuring that no defects, such as cracks or seams, occur. Additionally, friction and wear are highly affected by the choice of tribological system, which in turn influence the cost-effectiveness of the forging operation by preventing premature tool failure. Next to the employed tool coating and work piece material, the lubrication system and work piece surface topography are the main factors influencing the aforementioned constraints when designing efficient forging operations. In order to choose the appropriate tribological system before implementing it within an industrial forging operation, tribometers are used to characterize the performance of the tribological system. In this paper, the necessity to account for not only the tribological loads when designing these tribometer tests as is typical for existing methodologies, but also for process and lubricant specific properties will be highlighted. With the help of the tribometer sliding compression test, it will be shown that using liquid lubricants necessitates the need to account for the escape of lubricant, while this is not true for solid lubricants. The escape of lubricant from the contact zone is governed by lubricant properties as well as the contact kinematics and may lead to significantly different results regarding friction and wear. In order to account for this escape, the tribometer test must be specifically designed to reproduce the contact kinematics of the investigated industrial forging operation.
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