Proper Fluid Management Improves Longevity, Part Quality

Basic maintenance practices listed here can improve a fluid’s longevity, shop environment and part quality.

Regardless of the fluid type and application, metalworking fluids require some form of maintenance. Basic maintenance practices listed here can improve a fluid’s longevity, shop environment and part quality.

Concentration: All fluids have a minimum concentration level, which must be adhered to for maintaining bio-stability, good corrosion protection and cutting performance. Bio-instability and bio-mass development, low pH, corrosion of ferrous alloys (red rust), emulsion splitting, poor cutting performance and ultimately the metalworking fluid disposal are some problems that can occur.

Mixing Fluid Concentrates: Metalworking fluids need to be mixed a certain way for their chemical makeup to be correct. The acronym OIL (Oil In Last) is helpful for remembering the proper technique. According to the article “Metalworking Fluid Management and Best Practices,” oil-based emulsions should always be mixed this way. The fluid concentrate should slowly be introduced into the water while stirring vigorously, or a proper coolant mixer can be used.

Tramp Oil Removal: High levels of tramp oil in the metalworking fluid can cause an increased level of oil mist and smoke formation and must be removed. There are various methods of tramp oil removal equipment that can range from simple disc and belt skimmers to more elaborate coalescers and high speed centrifuges.

Coolant Filtration: Good filtration equals longer fluid life. The level of filtration depends on the machining process and the desired level of surface finish. Thus the more critical the surface finish requirements, the higher the level of fluid filtration is necessary.

To learn more about how to complete these fluid management steps, visit “Metalworking Fluid Management and Best Practices.” To read about liquid vacuum cleaners for metalworking fluid removal, visit “Metalworking Vacuum Cleaners: One Type does not Fit All.”

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