Maintenance of Cutting Fluids
Cutting fluids serve a number of key lubrication functions, cooling to preserve tool life, remove chips, and surface protection to preserve the machined part from corrosion. The usage and environment of metal cutting fluids cause them to change over time. Therefore, fluid maintenance is crucial for a better application of the fluid.
The KEY POINTS
1.) pH Level (pH Scale)
The fluid’s pH level shows its quality. The pH level is the measurement of a fluid’s acidity or alkalinity. Neutral PH value is usually 7. Values below 7 mean that the solution is acidic and higher values represent alkaline solutions. The recommended PH value for a water-miscible fluid is between 8.8 and 9.2.
When the PH value drops below 8.0, it means that the fluid is becoming less efficient and has a higher risk of both corrosion and microbial contamination. If the pH value exceeds 9.5, then the fluid poses a risk for dermatitis and skin irritation. The methods used for detecting the pH scale are IoT cutting fluid monitoring system and electronic pH meters.
2.) Oil Concentration
High concentration raises the fluid costs via wasted concentrate, lowers the dissipation of heat, lubrication and foaming. High concentration mainly results from water evaporation during the machining process. On the other hand, low concentration causes shorter tool life, poor lubricity, high biological activity and a high risk for corrosion.
When the PH value drops below 8.0, it means that the fluid is becoming less efficient and has a higher risk of both corrosion and microbial contamination. If the PH value exceeds 9.5, then the fluid poses a risk for dermatitis and skin irritation. The methods used for detecting the PH scale are IoT cutting fluid monitoring system and electronic PH meters.
3.) Corrosion Inhibition
Testing the fluid’s corrosion properties helps to protect those metal parts that are in contact with the fluid. Corrosion protection of the fluid reduces with a complete dissolution of oil in water and this will guide you when to add oil to the system.
4.) Microbial Contamination
This can be estimated by checking the dissolved oxygen in a mixture. Aerobic bacterial growth depends on oxygen. Therefore, you can measure the dissolved oxygen and be able to estimate the biological contamination.
Practices that maintain MWF systems and inspire them for superior performance include：
1) Monitor and record coolant concentration, pH, bacteria, and fungus levels regularly and take corrective measures as necessary.
2) Keep systems clean by avoiding the addition of contaminants. Avoid cleaning chemicals from cleaning crews, or degreasers. Remove oil mixed with the cutting fluid, tramp oil frequently.
3) Avoid direct sunlight, under normal temperature; keep in dry and cool place.
Besides, keeping the properties of a fluid within the required limits can increase its life span. And you must sensitize shop personnel on the importance of best MWF management practices and train them with it. The parameters monitored when it comes to the correct maintenance of fluids are oil concentration, PH level, corrosion inhibition and microbial contamination. Finally, fluid maintenance is crucial for a better application of the fluid.
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