The formulation of metalworking fluids is a complex process. It is a constant balancing act to create a product that offers exceptional bio-stability, while extending tool life and providing corrosion protection. However, there is one very simple component in metalworking fluid operations that is often overlooked: Water
It seems strange that a simple fluid like water can impact a metalworking fluid’s performance. Minerals pose a threat to the efficiency of metalworking fluids in several ways. Certain minerals found in water, predominantly calcium and magnesium ions, have been found to have a detrimental effect on fluid performance. These minerals force the coolant concentrate out of the solution and reduce cutting efficiency.
Additionally, the coolant concentrate mixed with the minerals from water can form gummy deposits on machinery leading to rust and machine damage.
Dangers of minerals in water
- Gummy deposits
- Bacterial growth
- Wasted metalworking fluid
Advantages of processed water
- Reduces fluid usage
- Minimises residues
- Enhances emulsion stability
- Slows bacteria growth
- Prolongs life of metalworking fluid
The minerals and salts found in water can present many problems for metalworking fluids.
As the coolant solution circulates through the sump, water evaporates out of the solution. As the water evaporates, the concentration of minerals in the coolant solution increases.
As the concentration of minerals increases, so do the dangers involved. After a short period of time, this effect can result in three to four times the amount of minerals than were in the original solution.
To minimize the possibility of mineral and/or salt contamination it is important to select a metal working fluid that is suitable for the water conditions, or alternatively, implement measures to help ensure shop water is as pure as possible. This will help minimize the possibility of mineral and salt contamination.
At Chem Arrow Europe we can provide a solution based on your incoming water quality. We have an in-house dedicated lab facility to support your specific requirements.
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