In metalworking processes, oils are used for a number of purposes, including lubrication, reducing wear, protecting against heat, carrying away chips, and improving the finish of surfaces.
They are also applied during grinding operations, because of their cooling effects and, when combined with abrasives, for polishing. Oils can play their part in preventing surfaces from sticking together and reducing the risk of corrosion.
There are many different kinds of oil products used in metalworking, including greases and fluids. Greases, along with lubricating pastes and gels, are thick products with a high viscosity that will not flow away from surfaces. Fluids cover a wide range that includes products such as coolants, cutting fluids, lubricants, heat transfer oils, and quench oils.
A number of different cutting fluids are available for metalworking to suit materials with a range of compositions. They can also enhance a variety of operations that employ different tools and shaping or cutting procedures.
Cutting fluids are frequently used in metalworking because they protect the edges of cutting tools by cooling, as well as lubricating. This is especially important when working with soft metals, where lots of heat is produced. Water-based cutting fluids and light oils are generally employed for their cooling properties. Anti-wear and lubricating additives may be added to fluids to enhance their qualities.
Grinding fluids improve metalworking processes by preventing metal from building up on the surfaces of grinding wheels. They also have cooling and anti-corrosive properties. Heat transfer oils are viscous products that usually require heating before they will flow around a system. They carry thermal energy away from components, preventing overheating.
Quench oils are used in steel working to change the structure of the metal as it cools. Products known as roll oils are used inside metal rolling mills to lubricate and provide a smooth finish, while release oils are used in conjunction with moulds and dies to enable metal parts to be removed easily once formed.