Ninety-seven percent of the energy consumed in metal-cutting is converted into heat. This heat can damage both the cutting tool and the work piece if the right kind of cooling doesn’t take place at the cutting edge. An overheated tool loses its hardness, which shortens its tool life and an overheated work-piece can lose its dimensional integrity. The solution is to continuously cool the tool and work-piece at the cutting edge.
So what’s the best way to do it?
That depends on a variety of factors including:
- the material being machined;
- the type of metal-cutting operation;
- the machining speed;
- the accurate delivery of the coolant to the cutting zone;
- the type of cutting tool being used.
These factors are all pertinent to making an informed cutting fluid selection. However, to provide a good starting point, manufacturers of cutting fluids have basically set up groupings that divide work-piece materials into 3 distict categories:
- Carbon, alloy and tool steels;
- Stainless steels, titanium and high temperature alloys;
- Grey and ductile cast irons, aluminum, and non ferrous materials.