Industrial enterprises that use metalworking as part of their production processes understand the exacting demands on both machinery and those who use it in such operations. For an effective production process, it is absolutely essential that all equipment is functioning at optimum, and that the most streamlined workflow is identified and implemented.
Metalworking operations must make sure that the most practical and easy-to-use processes are employed so that time is saved and output is always optimum. To achieve these sought-after circumstances, all metalworking equipment must be served by the correct form of lubrication for its requirements.
Operators and owners of metalworking equipment will discover a wide variety of oils, greases and other forms of lubrication is readily available. Generally speaking, metalworking machinery will require three main types of lubrication to operate efficiently and make sure productivity is always at its peak.
In the following passages, we’ll take a closer look at these different kinds of lubrication and what their roles are.
Neat cutting lubrication
Metalworkers will require neat cutting lubricants. These solutions are not diluted by water, which leads to a far greater longevity for the lifecycle of tools. Furthermore, surface finish is also greatly enhanced, and it allows equipment to work at far lower speeds than were previously possible. Maintaining and employing neat fluids is, in fact, a very practical and straightforward process, which can also be highly suitable for when operators are seeking to extend coolant life.
The ideal tasks to use neat lubrication on include grinding, honing and deep-hole drilling, along with any other complicated processes that may demand lower operating speeds to achieve the best results. There are specific ranges of neat cutting oils that have been developed especially for this purpose by leading manufacturers like Fuchs.
Soluble cutting fluid
Unlike neat oils, soluble cutting fluids have been effectively mixed with water, creating an emulsion with the aim of delivering impressive levels of thermal conductivity. This enables them to cope with the hotter tasks that neat cutting oils can’t manage, while providing exceptional cost savings as well.
Minimum Quantity Lubrication – sometimes simply referred to as MQL solutions – are always applied to metalworking equipment in small quantities. Composed of lubricants that possess an exceptional level of lubricity, MQLs have a contact point that provides close to dry machining as the oil mixes with air during metalworking processes.
However, the process is never entirely dry, as MQL solutions apply a microscopically thin layer of oil to parts that, imperceptibly to the naked eye, reduces both unwanted heat and friction effectively. The positive impact of this is the efficient elimination of any risk of thermal shock that is commonly associated with metalworking. It also means that far less emissions occur, a much looked-for quality by modern metalworking operations seeking more environmentally friendly solutions in line with government legislation.
While these three types of lubricants are most typically required for metalworking machinery, consulting documentation associated with individual items of equipment will indicate the most suitable form of lubrication for a specific piece of equipment.