Colibri Blog

Tips for Machining with Confidence: Keeping Your Coolant Clean

Posted by Dror Pockard on Dec 15, 2015 2:42:09 PM


Coolant is often the unsung hero of the machining process. However, it is essential to maintaining high surface quality and extending tool life. The only problem is that manufacturers take it for granted, allowing it to become dirty and detrimental to production quality. Keeping your coolant clean is absolutely essential to your metal cutting efforts.

If you aren’t keeping up with necessary machine maintenance, you risk adding large quantities of microorganisms into CNC systems. Bacteria and fungi can enter the system via sludge that settles in machine sumps and coolant fumes. This can chemically alter machine coolants and destroy lubricants and corrosion inhibitors while releasing corrosive acids and salts into the fluid. Not only that, but these microorganisms can also increase foaming and system separation which clogs lines, filters and valves.

The only question that remains – how exactly do your machine coolants become contaminated? Here are five things that you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Mineral-filled water used for mixing and diluting coolant can introduce microorganisms.
  • Sludge builds up in the machine sump or machine coolant fumes, degrading coolant quality.
  • If parts, tools or other objects come in contact with coolant, dirt and grime can cause contamination.
  • System operators must make sure system processes are kept in check, but their hands, sweat and saliva can all cause contamination.
  • Other outside contaminants that are introduced to the machining environment can also contaminate coolant—food scraps, human waste and more.

Bonus fact about keeping coolant clean: Did you know that dirty machine coolant can eat through rubber, plastic, Plexiglas, insulation and even human flesh? Don’t let machine coolant quality become an afterthought. Keep your coolant clean—keep your machines running smoothly. 

How do you ensure coolant quality in your business?  Share your tips in the space below. 

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