Filtration and Vacuum Specialists since 1976

The Micron
JB Systems Little Newspaper
November 2005
1334 Greenville Rd.
LaGrange, GA 30241
Filtration and Vacuum Specialists since 1976

Coolant Basics

Cutting fluid or coolant is liquid used to cool and lubricate the cutting edges of machine tools and the pieces they are shaping. It is pumped over the cutting site of machines such as lathes, milling machines, shapers and saws.

Metal cutting operations involve generation of heat due to friction between the tool and the pieces. This heat needs to be carried away otherwise it creates "white spots". Water is a great conductor of heat but is not stable at high temperatures. Stability achieved by making an emulsion of water with oil.

There are three types of coolants. Mineral, semi-synthetic and synthetic. Mineral coolants are cheap and have a short life. Semi-synthetic coolants use special chemicals to solubalize the oil into water. Synthetic coolants do not use water and hence are much more stable and expensive.

Bacterial growth can be a problem in cutting fluids that contain water. In case the oil forms a layer on the top of liquid, anaerobic bacterials proliferate due to warm temperatures. This leads to a bad smell, rendering the oil unusable.

Cutting fluid is most commonly an emulsion of oil and water however there are now synthetic cutting fluids available.

The properties that are sought after in a good cutting fluid are the ability to:

  • keep the workpiece at a stable temperature (critical when working to close tolerances).
  • maximize the life of the cutting tip by lubricating the working edge and reducing tip welding.
  • prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi.

Cutting fluid may also take the form of a paste when used for some applications, in particular hand operations such as drilling and tapping.

In many areas, disposal of cutting fluid is subject to environmental regulations intended to prevent pollution. Modern cutting fluid disposal may involve techniques such as ultrafiltration using polymeric or ceramic membranes which concentrates the suspended and emulsified oil phase.

Product Spotlight - Porter

Now affordable, automatic, continuous recycling of your coolant right at the machine tool sump offers the following benefits:
  • Tramp Oil, metal fines and bacteria are not permitted to build up to cause gummy, sticky deposits on machines and parts.
  • Disposal costs are dramatically cut; often by 90 to 95%. In many cases coolant life can be extended indefinitely to support zero waste disposal goals.
  • Coolant concentrate purchases are decreased; typically by more than 50%.
  • Tramp Champ Units are easy to operate and maintain because the pump contains the only moving parts.
  • Tramp Champ is self-cleaning by an air sparging system that cleans the wavy plates and floats fine solids to the liquid surface where they are washed out with the exiting tramp oil.
  • A bag filter is employed in the inlet chamber to remove solid particulate.
  • Transportation of coolants processing at a remote recycling station is eliminated.
  • Tramp Champ effectively increases your sump capacity providing better heat dissipation.
  • Clean coolants result in a healthier, more pleasant shop environment increasing worker morale and productivity.
  • The life of expensive tooling is increased. Better finishes and lower parts rejection are a result.

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* As always we would like to thank the Wikipedia Encyclopedia for helping us with the simpliest form of definition for Vacuum Pumps.