Posted tagged ‘metalworking fluids’

Switch From a Synthetic Coolant to a Semi-Synthetic to Eliminate Rust & Skin Irritation

June 27, 2011

QUESTION: I am looking at possibly replacing my current coolant. I am having problems with the coolant leaving residue behind after the parts have dried. I work in a powder metal facility and it is a very porous material to work with. Also at this time of the year I face major rusting issues with the humidity. Your help in what may be a viable product for these types of conditions would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: It sounds like you are using a synthetic coolant. Synthetic coolants are prone to residues and poor corrosion protection. Are you grinding or machining? Is it steel, aluminum? 

I recommend you try a semi-synthetic coolant ( also known as semichemical fluids). Look for a semi-synthetic coolant that is safe on all metals and offers superior resistance to bacteria and fungus. Pay particular attention to the percent content of oil. A semi-synthetic with around 25% oil will help with your corrosion problems as well as eliminate the problems you are having with residues being left behind after the water evaporates.

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Coolant Exposure in an Unenclosed Machine

June 13, 2011

QUESTION: I am concerned about the safety and effects of an operator coming in contact with these coolants while use with a manual lathe. The operator will be getting these chemicals on skin and possibly breath smoke as temperatures heat coolant at times of extreme machining of stainless steel and other metals. I understand that most CNC machines are enclosed but many manual machines are not.

ANSWER: This is a difficult question to answer: the best answer is always to minimize exposure to any chemical, whether it be a coolant or some other chemical like lawn fertilizer.  I always recommend the operator minimize contact with the coolant by using gloves and other personal protective equipment. It would very helpful if an exhaust system could be used, but if that isn’t feasible, use a fan to blow any smoke and/or mist away from the operator so they aren’t breathing in any of the smoke or mist.

 It is also very important to properly maintain any coolant the operator is coming into contact with. Foreign contaminants, bacteria, tramp oil, and fungus in the coolant can create a potential health hazard for the operator so good coolant housekeeping procedures are especially important in the case of machines without enclosures. Your fluid provider should be able to help you establish coolant maintenance procedures if you don’t already have them in place.

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Add ULTRACUT 250R on Top of WS-5050?

June 1, 2011

QUESTION: I have been running Rustlick WS-5050 in my vertical machining center’s flood coolant tank but don’t like the way it sometimes corrodes my tooling, machine table, way covers, etc.  I use Rustlick Ultracut 250R in my open machine spray-mist applications and am much happier with the way it performs.  I have plenty of the Ultracut 250R on hand and would like to start using it in my vertical machine center, can I simply add Ultracut 250R to the sump with WS-5050, can the two products be mixed? It would be great if I could simplify.

ANSWER: I have good news, you can mix WS-5050 and Ultracut 250R, they are both water-soluble coolants from the same manufacturer so there is little risk of chemical interactions. However, if there is a lot more risk involved when you combine coolants from different manufacturers because the basic chemistry of the products is likely to be very different and unexpected interactions may occur. That said, if contaminated is what is causing your corrosion problems, or if you have bacteria or fungus problems, mixing the two coolants is not likely to solve any problems.

 To minimize the risk of making the problem worse, I highly recommend you test the concentration and pH of the WS-5050 sump, it is also a good idea to test for bacteria and fungus. If everything is within the normal range then you are clear to switch to Ultracut 250R.

Please be aware, the primary difference between WS-5050 and Ultracut 250R is that WS-5050 has chlorinated EP additives and Ultracut 250R does not contain chlorine. This means you may need to adjust the speeds in your vertical machine center slightly and if you are running really heavy-duty applications you might experience very minor loss of tool life. The main thing is to be aware of potential changes, chances are the only thing that will change when you switch to Ultracut 250R is improved corrosion protection, but it is important you monitor for any changes so you can address and correct them before a new problem develops. 

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Blanchard Grinding Coolant

April 15, 2011

QUESTION: I am looking for a nonfoaming coolant for a machine we don’t use every day, what we currently use starts to smell horrible after sitting for a day or two.

ANSWER: For some reason I always get these type questions on a Monday morning. Probably because you have bacteria in your sump and after a weekend of it setting stagnant when you turn on the grinder this morning the smell of rotten eggs was overwhelming.

 Let’s solve one problem at a time.  Best guess is that you have a bacteria problem in your sump. You will have to go through a clean out process that not only cleans out the old fluid but also “sanitizes” the sump.  If you don’t go through the second step then you will have the same problem in about 4 to 6 weeks.  The product you want is called Grotan, it is probably one of the best biocides you can use and it is an industry standard for killing bacteria.  Just follow the directions on the tech data sheet.

 Next problem you have is intermittent use.  Even if the grinder doesn’t get used but once every few weeks you still have to maintain it on a daily basis.  Most cutting and grinding fluids have some sort of bacteria prevention additive built into them but it is replenished only a daily basis when you top off your tank.  If your tank sits idle for weeks at a time, the bacteria continues to grow and sooner or later you overwhelm the additive and you have a smell problem.  There are two ways you can help prevent this.  First is run your sump a couple of hours every day.  Bacteria likes a warm quiet place to grow and the agitation helps your fluid hold down the growth.  Next you have two alternatives:  You can add a little Grotan to your sump weekly when you aren’t running it for production to keep bacteria down, or you can add coolant based on pH as well as your refractometer reading.  (pH goes down when bacteria is growing). 

 Last problem: foaming. Blanchard grinders are famous “Foamers”.  You will need to use a synthetic fluid (oil based fluids foam more than synthetics).  I would recommend Rustlick G-25J.  Please remember, if you don’t do the proper cleaning of your grinder and use some bactericide to sterilize your machine, any product will probably fail for the same reasons as before.  You must clean properly, then maintain properly or all products will fail.

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LB-2000 versus LB-6000

December 27, 2010

QUESTION:  We recently purchased a Flex-Arm tapping system with an air-spray lubricator for the tap and the supplier recommended LB-2000 for our application.
We tap 12 gauge mild steel panels and then apply a white powder coating. The tapped holes are masked with a rubber plug prior to powder coating.
Since switching to the LB-2000, we are experiencing discoloration in the powder coat around the tapped holes. It appears that LB-2000 is leaving a residue in the holes that is then being forced out by the heat of the cure oven, (approx 400 deg F).

We may be using the lubricant a little too heavily but we aren’t using enough to cause puddling. But it is visible in the air mist when the lubricator operates.
Is LB-2000 the best choice in this application?  I notice a note about “cleaning required before heat-treating”.  Would one of your low viscosity products such as LB-6000 be a better choice for parts getting powder coated, since they do not require cleaning prior to heat-treating?

ANSWER: You are exactly correct.  The LB-6000 will burn off and should not interfere with the powder coating.  If you find that LB-6000 doesn’t have enough lubricity and you lose tool life, you can switch toLB-6100 which has EP additives to increase performance. These EP additives don’t burn off but they are precent in very small quantities so it won’t be a problem.

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When to Change Your EDM Oil

December 22, 2010

QUESTION: How often do you recommend changing out EDM/dielectic oil?

ANSWER: It really differs from company to company; I would say if you notice any loss of performance or if the fluid is getting dirty, that is a good time. However, most people go years without changing their oil, they just topping it off when it runs low.

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Water-Soluble Coolant in MQL System

December 20, 2010

QUESTION: Can I use KOOL MIST #78 in my Accu-Lube dispenser?

ANSWER: Accu-Lube applicators systems are not designed for water-soluble coolants.  Accu-Lube applicators are designed to deliver 2-4 ounces of undiluted lubrication during an 8 hour shift, where a Kool Mist applicator will deliver 0.5-2 gallons in the same time period. Accu-Lube applicators “atomize” lubricant at the tip of the nozzle; this is ideal for undiluted lubricants, but will create a fog with water-based products.

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