When cutting or burnishing metal, you most likely need to use cutting fluid. Lubrication is key to the proper functioning of your tooling. Many factors such as application, type of metal, and tool type play a role in what type of cutting fluid you will need to use. The purpose of using coolant is to prevent tool wear, overheating, and to clear chips. In general, there are five types of lubrication/coolant used when working metal: emulsion coolant, synthetic, semi-synthetic, straight oils and minimum quantity lube (MQL).
What are the different types of cutting fluid?
Each of the five types of lubrication is different and is used for any number of different reasons. Straight oils are used for lubrication when cooling is not necessary. Synthetic coolants are oil-free solutions mixed with other inorganic materials. Regular emulsion coolant has up to a 40% mineral oil base. Semi-synthetic is an emulsion blend with synthetic compounds. Minimal quantity lube (MQL) is consumed lubrication that is targeted to the tooling point.
Why use a cutting fluid?
When using a burnishing tool, it is always recommended to use a metalworking fluid for the best possible tool life. Straight oils may have an advantage over emulsion types of coolant since the concentration does not change as much. However, whatever is in the machine will work better than running the tools dry. Diamond-tipped burnishing tools require some kind of fluid, oil or emulsion. ID or OD multi-roller burnishing tools can work with either type, but the emulsion types can help flush away chips from the parts. This is important as burnishing over the chips and swarf can cause issues in both size and finish. Single contact roller burnishing tools can use either as well, so long as the concentration is on the higher side.
What is fluid management?
A key component of metalworking fluid is fluid management. You can extend tool life, keep odors and rust down, and provide an improved surface finish with proper metalworking fluid maintenance. Proper coolant maintenance can be performed by keeping concentration, and pH in range and keep suspended solids (micron-sized particles) to a minimum by using a filtration system.
Overall, it is very important to use a metalworking fluid when burnishing or reaming a part. Using the proper coolant can eliminate overheating, increase tool life, remove chips and swarf and provide rust protection for the machine and the part. If you need help deciding which type of coolant to use for your burnishing, reaming or other tool types, contact one of our engineering experts.
Contributor: Ann W. Bates