One of the best things about cutting oils is that it can be recycled and reused a number of times before you have to dispose of it forever. In order to reuse it, you will need to put cutting oils through reclamation equipment, which will get it back into good condition and increase its lifespan.
It is essential to use reclamation when working with cutting oils because they can degrade after being used for a while, due to the many contaminants they are exposed to from both the environment and from the work processes they are involved in.
There are several methods and multiple pieces of equipment that can be used to recycle cutting oils. The most common ones include coalescers, skimmers, settling tanks, centrifuges, filtration systems and magnetic separators.
Skimmers are great for removing tramp oil, which is a contaminated section of cutting fluid. Tramp oil floats on the surface of oil and is removed with a collection belt.
Centrifuges and coalescers
Both centrifuges and coalescers can also remove tramp oil, but in addition to that, they are also able to remove solid contaminants from the fluid.
Coalescers work by encouraging the fusing of tramp oil into bigger droplets, which will then rise quite naturally to the surface in a rapid manner, where they can be skimmed. Centrifuges work by spinning the oil, thereby generating gravitational forces that separate solid contaminants and tramp oil from your regular cutting oil.
Magnetic separators, filtration systems and settling tanks
All of these pieces of equipment are able to remove solid contaminants, but some are more efficient and effective at doing so that others. Magnetic separators are particularly good at removing ferrous contaminant particles, whereas settling tanks are perfect for collecting bigger heavier particles that are more likely to settle at the bottom. Filtration systems, on the other hand, can be used to tap solid particles as the oil passes through a filter.
Although cutting oils can be recycled several times, there will eventually come a point when they will need to be supposed of. When that time arrives, it is imperative that the fluid is disposed of carefully. There are environmental regulations that must be adhered to, and you must first conduct tests on your cutting fluid, which will determine whether it is non-hazardous.
If fluid is non-hazardous, you can dispose of it easily, but if it is deemed to be hazardous, you will need to take it to a treatment facility where it will be safely disposed of.