If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to machines, they can generate considerable levels of heat when they work. This structure is pretty much a feature – not a bug. And as heat is being generated, there’s a higher chance of machine degradation or damage.
CNC machines aren’t immune to this. And that is why a CNC coolant is required – to help manage heat generation. There are several types of CNC machine coolants available, so you need to know which to choose and how to make a decision. Let’s check out the options.
What Is A CNC Coolant?
For every machine to work well, there’s a need for a coolant element to help clear it and improve its operation. CNC machines have been known for their operational efficiency, but they still suffer from the same fatal flaw that many other machines have – they generate a ton of heat.
Over time, your machine will only continue to rack up more heat. And if you don’t have a system to manage this buildup, a point will come when the machine will break down or lose a massive chunk of its efficiency.
So, you need a coolant to help manage this issue. The CNC machine coolant will be introduced at intervals to help cool down the machine, while also improving things like lubrication and access.
With its help, your CNC machine will be able to keep its operation for long enough, thus allowing you to make the most out of it.
Now, for you to get the perfect build, your CNC coolant will need to come with several components. These include some of the following:
The Primary Fluid
You can’t have a lubricant without primary fluid. The option here will depend on the type of coolant you’re working with, although you majorly have three options – water, oil, and synthetic fluids.
Besides the major fluid, several additives come in your CNC machine coolant and help it perform at high levels. A few of these additives include:
- Corrosion Inhibitors: As the name suggests, their goal is to make sure corrosion het geen effek nie
- Agents For Lubricity: A major reason why you want to have a CNC liquid is to provide lubrication. And for that to work, you need the right agents in place.
- Biocides: If you have a water-based coolant, then you’ll need biocides to make sure that no bacteria or fungi are growing in it.
- Antifoaming Agents: CNC coolant operation ends up with a lot of foaming activity. With antifoaming agents, you can ensure that this formation is as minimal as possible.
- Emulsifiers: To improve emulsion stability, these components are needed – especially for water-based coolants
Whether you want an acidic or an alkaline coolant, a pH adjuster pretty much helps ensure that you have it steady. They focus on keeping the required pH range, so you won’t have to make any adjustments.
As jou machine coolant comes in contact with metal surfaces, then rust inhibitors will be needed to keep them from corroding or rusting.
You need these components to ensure that your machine coolant is properly viscous. This ensures that the coolant can work in different temperatures and machining scenarios.
Jy kan ook sommige sien CNC coolant options that come with colorants, so it’s much easier for you to tell them apart from each other.
If you’re working with water-based coolants, then you’ll need deionized water to reduce the entrance of impurities that can generally affect their operation.
The Major Types Of CNC Coolants
Wanneer working with CNC machines, there is no doubt that you need a machining coolant to work with it. That said, choosing the right option will be important if you hope to ensure that your machine really works as it should.
So, what are the types of cutting tool coolant that you have available?
As we said earlier, these coolants come with water as their base fluid. They form emulsions when combined with synthetic fluids and oils, and they can work with different machining operations.
A water-based coolant will provide impressive levels of heat management, and they also do well for the environment. Combine this with their relative affordability, and you have a pretty solid option here.
Whether it’s a mineral or a synthetic oil, these coolants have unique base fluids. An oil-based cutting fluid coolant will work best when applied to heavy-duty use, from material shaping to cutting and more. If you’re looking for the best coolant for CNC machines that offers lubrication and will last long, then this is a solid option for you.
These coolants have been engineered chemically, and they come with base fluids that especially work well in specific situations. Like the oil-based options, synthetic coolants are also solid if you’re looking for the best coolant for CNC machines based on high-performance characteristics.
A synthetic coolant improves thermal resistance and is very stable. Plus, the fact that you can formulate it based on your specific applications is an added advantage.
Some call them soluble oils, while others call them sem-fluid coolants. These options combine a water-based coolant for machining with oil-based coolants, providing a seamless mix to form a versatile material that works in different machining operations.
Dry or Solid Coolants
Unlike the liquid options, you take a solid coolant and apply it directly to the workpiece or the cutting tool. You can find these lubricants either in solid or powdered form, and they work in situations where the liquid options might cause a mess.
Available Specialty CNC Coolants
Having the traditional coolant options is all well and good. But, for some particular scenarios, you might need special coolants that are properly engineered to work here. If that is the case, then here are some options that might be available to you:
High-Performance Synthetic Coolants
With this option, you have the traditional coolant variant and then throw in some extra engineering to ensure that they can perform as optimally as possible. Regardless of the situation’s demanding nature, you know you’re fine.
Recently, more manufacturers have been considering the environment in their operations. And, this is very good. If you want to implement eco-friendliness in your CNC machining, then getting a bio-based coolant can be the right option for you.
These coolants provide a more eco-friendly option for you as they are derived from renewable sources. As such, they provide the perfect one-two punch of being effective while still looking out for Mother Nature.
If you’re not so keen about using too much fluid, then you’ll need to work with a micro-lubrication coolant. These coolants provide targeted lubrication, allowing you to hit the perfect zone without wasting too much fluid – or even using too much, for that matter.
Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) Coolants
Just like the option above, these help to reduce the use and wastage of fluid as much as possible. With the right amount of lubricant, they ensure that you can reduce wastage and still get the right results.
Some CNC machining operations generate massive amounts of pressure, and it might not be possible for traditional coolants to handle them. High-pressure coolants take this load, improving chip evacuation and ensuring that cooling can be as efficient as possible.
Machine Coolant Concentration Chart
Another thing you need to keep an eye on is the concentration of the coolants you use as part of your machining process. For these, it is important to have the right levels, so you don’t go overboard.
To help make things easier, we’ve provided a chart that will help you see the more popular CNC coolant options, as well as the right concentration levels for them:
|Mineral or soluble oils, with about 96% water content
|Mineral or soluble oils, with a fat ratio of 10%
|Soluble oils, with between 70% and 90% water content
|Mineral oil combined with based oil of 25%
|Mineral oil, with about 30% lard
|Carbon & Tool Steel
|Mineral and lard oil, with a 75% to 25% ratio
|Mineral oil, combined with 25% to 40% lard oil
|Mineral and lard oil, in the ratio of 90% to 10%
|Mineral and sulfur-based oil, in the ratio of 75% to 25%
|Mineral and lard oil, in the ratio of 70% to 30%
|Soluble oil, with a water content of about 90%
|Mineral oil, with 10% fatty content
|Mineral oil, with lard oil content of 10% to 20%
|Lard and mineral oil, in the ratio of 20% to 80%
How To Choose The Right CNC Coolant
Of course, we won’t just leave you with a list of the available types. You also need to understand how to choose if you have a CNC machining requirement. So, while looking through the available coolant types, here are a few things you will need to have at the back of your mind:
What Does Your Machine Need?
Before anything else, you need to take the time to understand what your CNC machine needs. At the same time, examine the needs of the machining process itself, so you can choose the right lubricant for the right setup.
Which Materials Are Being Machined?
Just as well, you need to know the type of material you’re machining. Some coolants work better with materials aluminum CNC machining, while others are more flexible in their acceptance range. By knowing what you need, you can easily make accommodations where necessary.
What Machine Are You Working With?
The specifications of the machine should also give you a bit of insight into which is the best coolant for CNC machines to use. Some machines can have particular guidelines or requirements for coolants, while others are more flexible.
Are You Considering The Environment?
We already pointed out earlier that everyone’s looking to cater to the environment as much as possible. If you want to choose a CNC liquid option, you want to make sure that it’s not too harmful or toxic to the environment.
Be Sure It Performs Right
You also want to choose a coolant that is as effective as possible. Think about things like the reliability of cooling, how well it lubricates, and more to ensure that the coolant indeed works for you.
Specialty Applications For Unique Needs
If you have any experience with CNC machining, then you’d be aware that some cooling needs are just too complex for traditional CNC coolants to handle. If you run into one of such requirements, then you might need specialty options instead.
How Much Of The Coolant Do You Need?
It’s never a good idea to just dump as much coolant as you have into your machine or your material. Instead, look out for the recommended application amount and stick to that. This way, you don’t end up wasting your coolant or overloading your machine.
Hoeveel sal dit kos?
At the end of the day, we’d never tell you to consider cost over everything else. But, it is worth making sure that you don’t end up spending too much money on this stuff. Consider the cost of the options available, and find one that gives you enough value for your money.
Reach Out To The Experts
If you still don’t know how to choose, then you can always reach out to experts for some help. Several professionals can help you make a decision, so leverage them.
There is no doubt that coolants are critical for the proper operation of CNC machines. They help to handle a great deal of load, and when applied right, a coolant will ensure that your machine will last as long as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about these coolants, feel free to reach out to us at HM. We’ll be more than happy to help you with whatever you need.