EPS Ends The Problems of Oil On Steel

Oil on flat rolled steel is accepted as a ‘necessary evil’ to prevent rust. You see the oil. You see the problems it creates. You may not realize all of its costs.

EPS is functionally interchangeable with HRPO, but can be ordered dry – no oil or other protective coating – because EPS resists rusting when stored in a non-condensing environment. EPS’ oil-free surface solves the problems associated with oil on sheet steel. That lowers manufacturers’ cost of handling, fabricating and painting their parts made from EPS.

The absence of oil also helps coil finishing processes, like galvanizing, because the acid bath to strip off HRPO’s oil isn’t needed when using EPS.

What Are The Problems of Oil On Steel ?

Health And Safety Problems
  • toxic fumes from welding through oil
  • skin irritation from exposure to the oil
  • accidents from oiled sheets slipping out of workers’ hands
Fabrication Problems
  • inferior welds from welding through oil
  • oil fogs the laser lens and plugs filters
  • oil on steel degrades laser or plasma performance, which slows cutting speed
Material Handling Problems
  • destacker jams from sheets sticking
  • replacing oily gloves 2 – 3 times a day
  • cleaning rollers, belts, conveyors to remove grime that comes with P&O
Plant Cleanliness Problems
  • oil gums up tools, work holding, controls
  • more material prep to remove oil & dirt
  • more frequent wipedowns/cleanups or else grimy work areas and machines
Paint Prep Problems
  • multi-stage paint prep needed to completely remove oil before painting
  • high solvents inventory – high exposures
  • paint defects (e.g.’fish eye’) from oil contamination of rinse solution

“Since stocking EPS Unlimited, our customers comment on how well the clean, oil-free surface laser cuts, how it lets them increase their laser speed, and how the dry surface helps throughout their other fabricating processes. Nothing else we’ve ever supplied elicits the positive feedback EPS Unlimited does.”

Terry Orsbun
GM of Evansville, Indiana facility
O’Neal Steel Company

EPS' Oil-Free Surface Boosts Laser Cutting Speed

It’s a fact: oil on the surface of sheet steel limits laser cutting speeds. How much can EPS’ oil-free surface improve laser performance? In one controlled test, sheets of EPS with no oil lasered up to 62% faster than the top speed for HRPO. Sheets of EPS with an oil film beat the HRPO benchmark by 37%. GET FULL DETAILS OF TEST >

In addition, note that burning through HPRO’s oil generates an oil mist which can settle out on laser optics and foul the filters of a fume extraction system quicker – both items that increase maintenance frequency.

Oil on Steel Is NOT Green

The oil film on HRPO is greenish when you wipe it off with a rag. But that’s not the kind of ‘green’ that is good for the environment. Having NO OIL on your steel actually is good for the environment.

First, it reduces the need for solvents to remove oil prior to fabricating or coating. Next, with so little oil to strip off the surface, the temperature of the paint pre-treatment wash can often be reduced, which lowers energy consumption.

Learn more about the many environmental benefits of EPS.