Remove Tramp Oil before it Causes Damage

These oils can end up in the coolant sump and contaminate the metalworking fluid.


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Have you ever been on a shop floor that reeks of sulfur, or have you walked by a machine on a shop floor that is covered with a layer of oil? If so, you’ve witnessed the results of tramp oil, and it’s not pretty.

Machine tools use various slideway lubricants and spindle oils for the lubrication of machine’s ways, ballscrews and spindle bearings. Unfortunately, these oils can end up in the coolant sump and thus contaminate the metalworking fluid. These tramp oils, which are common contaminants, can cause an increased level of oil mist and smoke formation if not removed in a timely manner. High levels of tramp oil in the coolant increases the potential for anaerobic bacteria (requiring no oxygen) to grow, which can produce a gas with a rotten egg smell. Acids are also produced from the gases and bacteria. The acids attack the metal surfaces of the machine tool and parts. Therefore, they need to be removed before problems occur.

The most common tramp oil removal methods are skimmers, centrifuges and coalescers. By using the right tramp oil purification process and equipment, operations can see a 40 to 80 percent reduction in coolant purchases and a decrease in disposal costs.

To read about choosing a filtration device, read “Maximize Coolant Life with Efficient Tramp Oil Removal” and “Metalworking Fluid Management and Best Practices.”