DoALL Coolant and Cutting Fluids FAQs
The term coolant implies that drawing off heat is its only purpose. Cutting fluid is a more precise term. Sawing brings the work and saw teeth together under heat and pressure, and that can weld the two. Components of cutting fluids include additives that prevent chip welding, lubricants that reduce the amount of heat generated, and water that draws away much of the heat that is generated. Use a good, heavy-duty cutting fluid. Get a refractometer to check and maintain the fluid mix ratio according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Keep in mind that you are replacing straight mix lost to spilling as well as water lost to evaporation. The mix you add will be less concentrated than the original, generally by about half. Use a refractometer to guide you in mixing the make-up fluid and to confirm the end result.
We strongly recommend performing a “clean and dump” prior to using new coolant over existing coolant. However, if the customer does not want to do this, then the following questions and answers need to be taken into consideration before dumping new coolant over existing coolant:
- Does the customer have poor coolant housekeeping habits?
- Do you detect an odor from the sump?
- Is there significant tramp oil?
If you answered yes to these questions then a clean and dump needs to be performed. Otherwise, the new coolant will not perform properly.
NOTE: Dumping new product over existing product has to be in the same category. You can only do this if you are going from a synthetic to a synthetic; semi-synthetic to a semi-synthetic; or soluble oil to a soluble oil.
The best way to control bacteria and mold is to consistently maintain your systems. This is done by monitoring the concentration at least a minimum of twice weekly. Skim off the tramp oil and make sure the fluid is aerated throughout the system. If this is not done it is best for the end user to resort to a biocide or fungicide depending on the type of biological growth present.
Ninety-five percent of dermatitis cases are the result of elevated coolant concentration. High concentrations have a higher alkalinity level; therefore causing irritation on skin that comes in contact with the fluid. Dermatitis can also be caused by bacteria in a sump. It is for these reasons that it is important to stress good maintenance practices.
Mix instability can occur when the operator adds the water to the coolant instead of adding the coolant to the water. In soluble oils this causes an invert emulsion that can interfere with the coolant working properly for your application.
A refractometer is a hand held instrument that measures how light is refracted through a liquid. This reading is then converted to the concentration of the metalworking fluid within the sump. It is important to check the concentration levels, as low refractometer readings mean you lean your alkalinity reserve causing rusting that will encourage bacteria.
Foam can be caused by soft water, high-pressure machining, soaps or contaminants within the system.
Corrosion is caused when the concentration of the metalworking fluid is too weak or too lean. Contamination levels and plant environment (humidity) can also cause corrosion. Corrosion can also happen when parts are handled improperly. As soon as corrosion is noticed, intervention is necessary to determine the cause and proper corrective action.
We strongly recommend using DoKleen 3004 to clean the sump. Bleach combines with the calcium and magnesium in water leaving behind salt, which is corrosive and exacerbates rust.