Owners and operators of metalworking companies agree; optimizing tool life and maximizing workpiece velocity is key to profitability. At 2% of a manufacturing operations spend, making the correct fluid choice impacts up to 80% of your productivity. Chemtool presents the advantages and disadvantages of four metalworking fluid types.
Choosing the best metalworking fluid for your specific operation is critical in improving operation efficiencies, keeping costs down and productivity up. Those goals can be two sides of the same coin. Operator acceptance, tool life, sump life and ease of use are all considerations in selecting the best fluid for your operation.
Let’s look at the different types of metalworking fluids.
These fluids get their name from the fact that they’re used “straight from the drum,” and are mineral oils with performance additives. Their simple nature makes them easy to manage, they tend to have a long sump life and excellent lubrication. Straight oils provide the least effective cooling of any MWF. Straight oils can also have the drawback of low operator acceptance due to misting and the slippery conditions they create throughout the shop.
Soluble Oils - Metalworking fluids with more than 30% oil content
Soluble oils combine lubricating oil plus emulsifiers and additives to bring increased cooling along with good lubrication. In high speed machining processes, the tooling can exceed 1200f and 2000 psi, requiring the high heat capacity of water. These MWF’s lubricate very well and cool very effectively. Soluble oil sump life tends to be lower than synthetics and semi-synthetics.
Semi-Synthetics - 2 to 30% oil content
Semi-synthetics combine the qualities of a soluble oil, such as good lubricity, tool life and corrosion control along with the long sump life and operator acceptance of a synthetic. They usually contain less than 50% water. Semi-synthetics are emulsions, with extremely small emulsion droplet size. The greatest advantage of this MWF type is that they can be optimized for a wide range of operational needs. In short, semi-synthetics are the most popular as they can be configured to meet a wide range of machining needs.
Synthetics - Metalworking fluids with no mineral oil content
This type of MWF is petroleum-free, contains functional additives and, when mixed with water, forms a single uniform liquid with no suspended particles. Synthetics tend to require less maintenance than soluble oils because they reject tramp oils and fines. They offer excellent heat reduction, aren’t affected by water hardness and have a low tendency to foam. The drawbacks? Synthetics don’t lubricate as well as straight or soluble oils, and can cause sticky residues in some systems.
A new class of metalworking fluids
Chemtool’s NuSol line is a revolutionary concept in metalworking fluid technology. This combination of higher-viscosity synthetic and mineral base oils are blended to form a true micro-emulsion. Chemtool’s Nusol line is a highly engineered technology, unique in the industry, bringing excellent sump life, low odor and unprecedented tool life.
Talk to a MWF expert for a professional consultation about Chemtool's NuSol products.