Metal cutting fluids are specially formulated fluids for metal processing and have various distinct functions. These functions include: helping to ensure that a tool has longer life, minimizing thermal deformation, bringing a finer finish on the working surfaces and eliminating chips from the metal surfaces one is working on.
Metal cutting fluids are further categorized into the following groups
- Soluble oils
- Synthetic fluids and
- Straight oils
The fourth category is a subdivision of the synthetic fluids into semi synthetic fluid. Metal cutting fluids are differentiated depending on the specific materials used to make them. For example, the best oil for lubrication in these categories is the straight oils. These are composed of petroleum oils and polar lubricants.
Synthetic fluids will provide the best cooling services because they contain organic and inorganic products best for that very purpose. Soluble oils will provide very good lubrication because they are made of minerals oils and emulsifiers. Semi synthetic oils are made of a combination of synthetic and soluble oils and tend to display characteristics of both oils.
It is important to note that metal cutting is a complicated process that requires a lot of time and costs. Various metal cutting technologies are used and may be divided into the following categories:
- Laser cutting. This involves use of carbon dioxide together with other gases to create a very accurate cut on the metal.
- Plasma arc cutting technologies. This is where a lot of speed is used to cut the metal using electrically charged gas.
- Oxy fuel cutting technology. This technology uses various gases to come up with a flame that is then used to cut the metal.
- Abrasive water jet cutting technology. This technology uses stream water that is highly pressurized to cut metals. Further, an abrasive is introduced to cut more metal materials.
Deciding on which metal cutting technology will depend on the cutting speed, costs involved, the type of metal you need to cut, cleanliness on the edges and access to the material.