Coolants, Lubricants, Metalworking Fluids

Take a look at some of the coolant, lubricant, and metalworking fluid technology being used by shops to increase their metalworking productivity, keep their machine tools clean, and reduce their cost of operations.

The metalworking industry continues to go green as more shops adopt vegetable-based coolants and implement recycling programs. While some of the newer vegetable-based green coolants offer as much lubricity as standard oil-based products, they can tend to cost more – often up to double the price of oil-based lubricants – which can hamper the adoption rates of smaller shops that want to use them. To reduce overhead costs, more shops are investigating new ways to reuse their coolant rather than dispose of it, including new coolant recycling programs that can reduce coolant waste and increase sump life.

Let’s examine some of the latest coolants, lubricants, metalworking fluids and related equipment currently being used by shops to increase their metalworking productivity, keep their machine tools clean, and ultimately reduce their cost of operations.

QualiChem, Inc. (Salem, VA), a rapidly growing manufacturer of metalworking fluids, has introduced EQO-PURE 452, a new vegetable-based water-soluble lubricant for severe hardened steel and stainless steel machining applications. EQO-PURE 452 is a heavy-duty vegetable-derived micro-emulsion fluid with extreme pressure additives formulated to improve tool life and part quality while eliminating foaming and staining. EQO-PURE 452 is designed for use in many applications that previously used straight oil, including boring, deep-hole drilling, gun drilling, reaming, roll forming, tapping and threading.

“This new synthesized vegetable-based lubricant is the highest performing water-based metalworking fluid on the market,” said Mike Forest, QualiChem director of metalworking. “It offers the performance of a vegetable oil without the heavy residues and emulsion instability found in other products. EQO-PURE 452 forms a stable emulsion and runs exceptionally clean, offering unmatched tool life and long service life. It’s proven to give unsurpassed machining performance while maintaining hydrolytic stability.”

QualiChem’s metalworking fluids are available through a worldwide network of more than 50 distributors. The company offers a broad selection of fluids for all types of metalworking applications. QualiChem provides extensive technical support for customers in selecting the right product to solve specific metalworking challenges. QualiChem also offers customized laboratory support services for trend analysis and troubleshooting.

In other applications, BTM Corporation (Marysville, MI), a manufacturer of clinch joining systems, automation components and contract machine work, has reported substantial savings in coolant usage and waste removal costs after switching its aluminum and steel machining operations to run on QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C semi-synthetic metalworking fluid. The company has over 45 years of experience in manufacturing clamps, grippers, locators, end arm effectors, stand-alone machines and fully automated assembly systems in its ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 Rev. B:2004 certified facilities.

Michigan Petroleum Technologies (Port Huron, MI), the QualiChem distributor in lower Michigan since 2008, oversaw the six-month trials in which BTM compared XTREME CUT 251C against the fluids it had been using. “The results of the trials on four machines spoke for themselves,” said Richard Seim, the executive vice president of Michigan Petroleum Technologies. “Coolant usage and waste removal costs were down 50 percent, and machine operators reported total elimination of noxious odors. Altogether, the total documented hard savings resulting from reduced coolant usage and waste removal costs added up to more than $47,000 in 2013.”

Dave Lamb, the BTM manufacturing manager, said, “We have an intensive coolant maintenance program and Michigan Petroleum stated that we should be able to lower consumption and the maintenance cost using XTREME CUT 251C. We tested several coolants and found that they were correct. We lowered our coolant consumption, maintenance cost, and waste coolant disposal cost using the semi-synthetic metalworking fluid.”

“I like the cleanliness, clarity and machinability of the XTREME CUT 251C,” added Tony Weber, the BTM milling supervisor. “There is minimal maintenance and operator acceptance has been excellent.” Dick Kleinknecht, the lathe supervisor at BTM, noted, “I’ve experienced excellent results with this semi-synthetic metalworking fluid. The product does not have an undesirable odor and is very easy to maintain.”

Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, QualiChem is the fastest-growing fluids manufacturer in the metalworking industry, with an extensive product portfolio includes synthetic, semi-synthetic and soluble cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, metal cleaners and corrosion preventatives. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008 company and a zero-discharge facility. The company is privately held.

QualiChem, Inc., PO Box 926, Salem, VA 24153, 540-375-6700, Fax: 540-375-3880,  

CYCLO COOL® 900 series synthetic metal machining fluids from 5ME (Cincinnati, OH) utilize a unique, near-neutral pH formula developed to meet heavy-duty, high-heat machining requirements at a lower cost than semi-synthetics and soluble oils. The additive-free, low-foaming fluids are specially formulated for machining titanium, Inconel®, beryllium copper, hardened steels, stainless steels, and other exotic alloys.

The cationic-based synthetic coolants contain specialized boundary lubricants that penetrate the cut zone heat barrier, even at lower fluid pressures (300 psi to 400 psi), to absorb heat from the tool and the part, minimizing tool-tip work hardening and premature wear. Free of biocides/fungicides and aggressive pH adjusters, they provide increased sump life and environmental friendliness when replacing high-maintenance, chlorinated, semi-synthetics and soluble oils in all metal removal operations. “These high-performance, low-cost traits are driving efficiency improvements in the aerospace and heavy equipment industries,” said Pete Tecos, the executive vice president of marketing and product strategy for 5ME.

CYCLO COOL 900 series fluids are designed for high-pressure, low foaming, through-tool delivery systems at 2000 psi, as well as flood coolant for chip flushing. The lubrication package in CYCLO COOL 900 varies to cover a wide range of applications from light-duty, high-speed (10,000 rpm to 15,000 rpm) aluminum milling to heavy-duty drilling and tapping of hardened steel and hard-to-machine metals. The three formulations, CYCLO COOL 900, 910, and 920 are engineered to match the intensity of the application.

5ME recently completed a facility-wide, multimillion-dollar turnkey project consisting of onsite CNC programming, application support, fixturing concepts, and tooling packages for machining large steel frames for above ground mining equipment. The project involved implementation of CYCLO COOL 920 throughout the facility. “The most critical application was a proprietary, specialized tapping process to lock bolts into a massive steel frame,” said Tecos. “This tapping process is critical to efficient production and, if not completed correctly, the entire frame must be scrapped.”

CYCLO COOL 920 not only met and exceeded the tight-finish tapping requirement, but it is also credited with increasing tap life to 1000 hits per tap, compared to the same process using a premium, heavy-duty soluble oil. CYCLO COOL 920 also met the plant’s corporate health and safety requirements, which include minimal-to-zero VOC levels, recyclability, and elimination of questionable raw materials and aggressive biocides/sump additives. “The near neutral pH synthetic formulation provides a clean, oil-free work area and is extremely operator and machine friendly,” added Tecos.

5ME provides tooling and coolants, application engineering, asset monitoring software, and cryogenic machining systems for any brand machine tool.

5ME, 4270 Ivy Pointe Boulevard, Suite 100, Cincinnati, OH 45245, 586-202-3285,,

CIMCOOL® Fluid Technology (Cincinnati, OH) specializes in fluids for machining and grinding, stamping, drawing and forming, cleaners, and corrosion inhibitors, as well as specialty lubricants and fluid management equipment. For shops that specialize in gear grinding and/or milling, there is MILPRO® 740ACF, a clear, yellow metalworking oil designed for use in horizontal broaching of high temperature alloy aircraft engine parts. This chlorine free oil offers excellent water rejection, oxidative stability, rust protection, and cooling capability for a straight oil.

An introduction to fluid technologies of CIMCOOL.

MILPRO® 500 is a metalworking oil blended from naphthenic base stocks and is recommended for a wide range of light to medium-duty applications such as general-purpose thread grinding, tapping, gear hobbing, gear shaving, milling, and turning. It offers a balanced blend of sulfur, chlorine, and fat that produces better finishes and longer tool life than most competitive oils. MILPRO 500 is low misting in most applications.

MILPRO® 840CF is a general purpose oil recommended for machining and grinding operations. Recommended for gun drilling, tapping, broaching, and grinding, MILPRO 840CF contains a lubrication package comprised of both a physical lubrication component and extreme pressure additives. It contains stable lubricity additives with very low depletion rates and high temperature stability. This light viscosity fluid offers cooling capability approaching water as well as provides excellent rust protection.

CIMPERIAL® 20-8SX is a premium soluble oil developed for use on carbon steels, high speed steel, cast steels, alloy steels, tool steel, stainless steel, titanium, cast iron, and most aluminum alloys. It is designed for heavy-duty operations and contains a unique blend of sulfurized and chlorinated Extreme Pressure (EP) lubricant additives to perform a wide variety of machining and grinding applications, including creep feed grinding. This low foaming product also offers very good biological protection thus providing extended sump life. While providing higher productivity and improved cleanliness compared to straight oils, it also avoids the housekeeping problems and fire hazards of straight oils.

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