Machine liquid serves several important lubrication functions, for example, offering surface protection to prevent corrosion in the machined part, removing chip to prevent interference, and cooling to preserve tool life. However, machine liquid isn’t immune to contamination and degradation, two things that may affect the equipment operation and fluid performance significantly.
To help optimize machine liquid maintenance, here are 3 tips to keep in mind.
1. Use proper filtration
It’s important to use proper filtration in the machining environment of today. Currently, numerous CNC machines provide ‘through tool’ coolant applications. What does this mean? The coolant flows through the cutting tool and machine spindle. If there’s no filter, materials from the sump can enter, destroying seals and blocking the coolant flow.
The time at which the filter must be replaced is dependent on the type of cutting being done and the material being machined. For instance, cast iron creating a muddy, fine substance that rapidly clots filters. Certain materials may enable coolant to flow even when there’s no space in the filter bag. When the filter is full, the gauges of the majority of high-pressure systems will show restricting coolant flow and pressure differential.
2. Don’t overlook concentration
Every machine liquid is made to work within a certain concentration range. For optimal performance, the manufacturer determines and recommends the limits of working concentration. Every liquid has a minimum concentration level that must be complied with for maintaining cutting performance, corrosion protection, and bio-stability.
If for any particular length of time, this concentration level is allowed to dip below the minimum level, numerous problems may surface. For example, metal removal fluid disposal, mediocre cutting performance, emulsion splitting, red rust (corrosion of ferrous alloys), low pH, bio-mass development, and bio-instability are some issues that may emerge. However, you can use a refractometer to check coolant concentration. But if a fluid concentration is not known for a certain application, reaching out to your fluid provider is advisable.
3. Control machine liquid amount using drum mixers
If you’re still mixing the machine liquids manually, it’s a bad idea. Today, drum mixers can help you prepare new/added amounts of coolant without the need for any guesswork or measuring cups. Plus, these devices can disperse appropriately-sized droplets evenly across the fluid just by turning on the faucet after setting the dial to the required concentration.
While changing the sump, fill the tank up with some cleaner a couple of days before. This will loosen up the sticky stuff on the machine tool’s interior walls and the crud that’s present at the tank’s bottom and along the sides.
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