Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bio-Film

Dear friends,

Does your coolant life seem to get progressively shorter and shorter? Do you dump your sump and recharge it with fresh fluid expecting to get another 8-12 months of coolant life, only to have it go rancid yet again 6 months later? What is the problem and why does the fluid keep going bad? It has got to be the coolants fault… right? Not necessarily. How thorough were you in cleaning your coolant system? Did you remove the coolant sump, chip conveyor, pumps and screens and really clean them? In addition, did you use a recommended machine cleaner from your fluid manufacturer? If the answer to these questions is no, then you may have a Bio-Film problem.  So what is Bio-Film and where does it come from?

Bio-Film is a mucus like matrix (Mucilaginous/Glycocalyx) comprised primarily of sugars, called Extracellular Polymeric Substance. Bio-Films are sessile (stationary) and are comprised of various species of bacteria which have significantly different properties from free-floating (Planktonic) bacteria. This community of microbes communicates biochemically within the Bio-Film matrix, which gives it the capability to perform different tasks beyond the capability of any individual bacteria member. An example of the type of synergism between different bacteria species within a Bio-Film community is sited from Dr. Frederick J. Passman, Metalworking Fluids-Second Addition. “What one species of bacteria, (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) produces as a waste product, (Sulfur and Secondary Metabolites), feeds and enables another species of bacteria (Desulfovibrio desulfuricans) to survive. In turn the D. desulfuricans creates conditions that enable P. aeruginosa to attack metalworking fluids (MWF) molecules at a maximum rate.” Here are two picture examples of Bio-Film growth stages and what it can actually look like.



                                                    
A recent study sited in TLT Magazine showed the Polysaccharide film produced by bacteria, was measured to have the holding strength of 70 Newton’s; this is equivalent to super glue. This sticky Polysaccharide film protects the bacteria within the Bio-Film community, thus making most biocides ineffective against Bio-Films. Bio-Film needs to be addressed when the sump needs to be changed either by physical scrubbing or by using a pressure washer with hot water or steam capability. In addition, machine cleaners proven to dissolve Bio-Film should be used, or the end results will be the same - subpar coolant life and higher fluid costs. The scope of this article doesn’t cover the additional costs and damage that Bio-Films cause to the machines and also the health hazards and costs associated due to high amounts of bacteria growth.

Stay tuned for more useful coolant related tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS


Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries

Monday, October 8, 2012


Oil Mist & Vapor

Dear friends,

If you’ve worked in a machine shop long enough, you might have noticed various items such as tool boxes, work benches and machine surfaces becoming oily or sticky. You might even work at a facility where a constant fog hangs in the air during working hours. Both of these issues have one thing in common – Oil Mist & Vapor. So where is the mist coming from, but better still, what can you do about it? In order to know the proper solution to the problem, it’s imperative that we understand the nature of the problem and how it is being created. During machining, mist and vapor formation are given off simultaneously during the metal removal process. The difference in mist verses vapor is the difference in particle size, with vapor and smoke being <1┬Ám.

The various mechanisms of mist and vapor formation are the following:

·         Evaporation/Condensation – Most often produces smoke, due to fluid coming in contact to the hot work/cutting zone.
·         Impaction and Centrifugal force – High speed spindles create motion, thus spraying fluid which impacts part and machine surfaces.
·         Aeration/Entrained air – Entrained air (bubbles) is released when the fluid is at rest, forming aerosols.

Not all mist and vapors are attributed to the fluid; welding fumes, along with metal dust, common dirt and parts washer mist all contribute to the overall mist levels in the shop. Mist levels are measured by several methods, both quantitative and qualitative, using either a personal sampling monitor, (Quantitative) and/or light scattering instruments, (Qualitative). The OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit, (PEL) for metalworking fluid mist is 5mg/m3 of mineral oil mist. This is the only statutory limit that has been imposed by OSHA; however most large manufacturing companies are now following the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit, (REL) of 0.5mg/m3 of total particulate mass, as a safety measure. High mist levels in the shop can also be directly correlated to how much tramp oil is in the coolant itself. The higher the tramp oil load, the higher the mist level. High levels of tramp oil contamination (>4%) in the metalworking fluid, can lead to an increased level of bio-mass accumulation. This is due impart to Anaerobic-sulfate reducing bacteria. These microbes are present in the bulk fluid, and are also thus present in the mist/vapor which is generated by the aeration and spraying action of the coolant itself. These bio-aerosols are being linked more and more to the acute effects of cough and phlegm production, as well as shortness of breath and bronchitis. These acute effects may lead to chronic lung conditions such as, asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP).

So what can I do to reduce the mist levels in my shop?

Remove tramp oils on a consistent basis and keep microbial levels in check and under control. Practice good housekeeping procedures. Install mist and filtration collection systems and keep them well maintained. Make sure machine guards are in place and ensure there’s adequate ventilation. Above all, maintaining your coolant can go a long way to reducing the overall mist levels in the shop, thus making a cleaner and healthier work environment for all concerned.

Stay tuned for more useful coolant related tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS


Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Corrosion

Dear friends,

Let’s talk about a subject which plagues everyone, corrosion. A few years back the National Bureau of Standards now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology, did a study and estimated that the annual costs associated with corrosion in the United States was between $9 billion and $90 billion. These figures have been affirmed by various organizations as well as by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. So as you can see, corrosion is a major problem for us all. In order to understand corrosion, we must first understand what corrosion is. As stated in the Corrosion Engineering Handbook (second addition) on the Fundamentals of Metallic Corrosion, by Philip Schweitzer, “Corrosion is the degradation of a material’s properties or mass over time due to environmental effects”. When a material corrodes it elements are basically returning to their natural state. These elements turn into oxides, sulfides or other basic metallic compounds.
All metals corrode (unless present in an inert atmosphere or vacuum environment), both ferrous and non-ferrous alike. It is not the scope of this article to go in-depth into the various forms of corrosion; however I will list them for your future reference. A more in-depth study of these forms of corrosion can be found in the before mentioned reference.

1.        Pitting
2.        Galvanic corrosion
3.        Uniform corrosion
4.        Stress corrosion cracking
5.        Intergranular corrosion
6.        Crevice corrosion
7.        Biological corrosion
8.        Selective corrosion
9.        Erosion corrosion

Let’s learn about the various forms of corrosion that machine shops and manufacturing companies alike deal with regarding the use of metalworking fluids. These forms of corrosion can comprise the following – Pitting, Galvanic, Biological corrosion and in the aerospace sector, Stress corrosion cracking (SCC). Many factors can induce these forms of corrosion. An example would be the result that a metalworking fluid with an excessively high pH factor would have on Aluminum, such as Pitting and Galvanic Corrosion/Aluminum Staining. Biological corrosion induced by a microorganism’s metabolic activity, can cause corrosion by forming various acids in the bulk metalworking fluid itself, or by attacking the metals surface directly via bio-films. Stress corrosion cracking takes place when various chemicals capable of causing SCC attack the metal surface. An example of a “capable chemical”, in this case Chlorinated Paraffin found in various MWF’s, coming in contact with Titanium can induce Hydrogen Embrittlement. This corrosion takes place when hydrogen forms on the metal surface under heat and pressure, forming a hydride phase, thus allowing hydrogen to enter into the Titanium alloy.  So unless you’re going to live in a vacuum, we’re all going to deal with corrosion at some time in our lives.  Boy! Where are the Rust-eze guys when you need them? J

Stay tuned for more useful coolant related tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS


Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries


Sunday, July 8, 2012




To Skim, or not to Skim?

Dear friends,

Have you ever taken a look at your sump and wonder where all that oil floating on top came from, and better yet what in the world do I do with it now? Well listen up my friends because we’re going to school!

Tramp oil, (as we call it in the industry) is a real problem for metalworking fluids in general.It doesn’t improve the cutting action of the metalworking fluid and it tends to be a readily available food supply for anaerobic bacteria. Facultative Anaerobic bacteria don’t require oxygen to live, but they still require a food source. Way lubes/Hydraulic oils as well as the raw materials in metalworking fluids are excellent food sources for these anaerobic bacteria. These anaerobes excrete hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) a byproduct of metabolizing the sulfur found in most way lubes and hydraulic oils. This in turn, creates the wonderful aroma of the famous Monday morning stink that we are all so fond of. If we choose to ignore this potential problem and not remove (Skim) this tramp oil on a weekly if not daily basis, then eventually it will become part of the coolant. Now this potential food source is readily available throughout the emulsion itself. Older and even new machines being manufactured today use Way lubes/Hydraulic oils for lubricating the box ways, linear guides and spindle bearings. Unless the lubricating system is sealed, this oil will eventually to find its way into the coolant sump. Metalworking fluid manufactures formulate their coolants to reject out these larger oil agglomerate’s to the top of the emulsion. This foreign oil is to be removed by means of skimming or coolant coalescing equipment. This is done by design, as tramp oil leads to coolant deterioration/contamination and eventual disposal. By implementing simple measures of using coolant skimmers and filtration equipment on a regular basis, a metalworking fluids sump life can be greatly prolonged thus reducing overall fluid cost.

So the answer to the question of, to skim or not to skim is… skim that sump!

Stay tuned for more useful coolant tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS







Brett Reynolds, The Coolant Guy works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries



Coolant Filtration

Dear friends,

Let’s talk about coolant filtration and what role it plays in increasing fluid longevity and part quality. Coolants are process fluids which serve as Liquid Tools® which perform various functions in the manufacturing and production process. Coolants provide a wide range of properties and aspects in the part making process; these include lubricating and cooling of the cutting tools and parts being machined. Coolants are also expected to provide excellent corrosion protection to the machine tool and parts; good chip evacuation along with an acceptable level of health and safety. So as you can see, there are heavy demands placed upon a metalworking fluid in order for it to fulfill its critical role in the manufacturing process. During machining, metalworking fluids become heavily contaminated with micron and sub-micron metal particles, as well as tramp oils. These tramp oils can be removed by skimming the free oil from the top of the emulsion, but the metal fines must be addressed by means of filtration. Filtration can come in many different forms and can range from simple decantation tanks and filter media, to more complex high speed centrifuges. Both provide the same end result - the removal of metal fines from the process fluid.

But isn’t filtration expensive?

In the past the cost of filtration verses the cost of metalworking fluids, was prohibitive for smaller shops to financially realize. However with the rising price of metalworking fluid concentrates and the high costs for spent coolant waste disposal; more companies are becoming aware of the value that filtration can play into decreasing the overall metalworking fluid cost and extending fluid life.

So what’s in it for me?

Coolant filtration can increase productivity and tool life and is beneficial in helping reduce scrap due to poor surface finish. Filtration increases manufactured part quality; this is due in part to superior surface finishes, thus improving a company’s overall part quality and image. Nice finishes = Happy customers!
In the 2nd addition of Coolant Filtration, by James J. Joseph it states “The size of the operation no longer qualifies the need for filtration but it establishes the degree of filtration needed to show an economic return”. So now we see that all manufacturing companies regardless of size should be incorporating some degree of filtration. So the important questions we should be asking ourselves are these… Do I filter my coolant, and if not, why? What increases in productivity and tool life do I stand to gain by doing so? How much longer could my fluids last if I did?
By not implementing filtration, you will fail to realize the full potential of your cutting tools and (if equipped) high pressure coolant system, let alone the metalworking fluid you are currently using. Re-cutting chips is not conducive to long tool life and a contaminated fluid does not produce excellent surface finishes. One more item to take into consideration; high levels of metal fines raises the probability for contact dermatitis in the shop environment, thus increasing costs, and profit loss due to employee sick leave and low morale.

So if you are still kicking the idea around about whether or not you should purchase a filtration system?  My question to you would be…       Why wait any longer?

Stay tuned for more useful coolant related tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS

Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries

Wednesday, February 22, 2012




Formaldehyde

Dear friends,

Attention machine shop owners! You might have noticed advertisements in trade magazines from various metalworking fluid manufactures, claiming their fluids don’t contain formaldehyde (Triazine or HHT). So… your probably wondering what’s the big deal right now with formaldehyde and what does it mean for me, my company (and most importantly) the people that I employ? To start, let me give you a little background on the topic at hand. Triazine- trade name-Grotan; has been and still is a widely used broad spectrum biocide in the metal removal fluid industry. Hexahydro-1,3,5-tris(2-hydroxyethl)-s-Triazine or HHT, is classified as a formaldehyde releasing condensate. HHT is a very effective, low cost broad spectrum biocide for metalworking fluid formulators to use. HHT has been used in metal removal fluids for many years.

Recently formaldehyde was moved by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) from a “Group 2A”, (Probably Carcinogenic to Humans) to a “Group 1 status”, (Carcinogenic to Humans). Along with this ruling from IARC; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program (NPT) the 12th Report on Carcinogens (12th RoC), has ruled formaldehyde as “Know to be a Human Carcinogen”. So as you can see this is not good news for biocide manufactures or metalworking fluid formulators. Many metalworking fluid manufactures are scrambling to reformulate their various metal removal fluids, while others are claiming that they have never used formaldehyde in any of their formulations in the first place.

So what’s the truth and what does this mean for me?

In my opinion, I would anticipate metalworking fluids to become more expensive due to the higher costs of non-formaldehyde based biocides. Metalworking fluid manufactures will have to reformulate, and by thus doing so, some products which contained Triazine may no longer be available in the future. This could lead to machine shops that use a particular fluid due to a manufacturer specific approval; i.e. aerospace and medical approvals, searching to find a new fluid which is on the approved list for use. Unfortunately for the customer the eventual ban on Triazine will mean higher cost and reduced fluid life expectancy. This is due in part to the decreased effectiveness of biocide choices made available for formulators to work with.

So… what do I do now?

My advice would be, get informed. Become educated on the issue; discuss with your current fluid supplier the chemical properties of your current fluid. Ask yourself this; what are the long term ramifications of continuing the use of a fluid which contains Triazine? Last but not least; take into consideration the health and safety aspects not only for you, but also for your employees. After all, we all want to work in a safe and healthy environment.

Stay tuned for more useful coolant related tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS





Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries

Thursday, January 26, 2012





Got Foam?

Dear friends,

So you have decided to go out and purchase a brand new metal removal fluid for your shop, and after filling your machine you’re expectations are high! Good cutting performance, machine cleanliness and bio-stability are all promised by the metalworking fluid manufacturer. So you go to fire up the machine and decide try out that new high pressure pump you just paid a bundle for, and presto!  Foam all over the shop floor! Great… Now what do I do? Well there are a few things you can do; first you might try adding anti-foam additives to help control the foam. You can try making up your coolant with hard water if you are lucky or unlucky enough to have it available. You might even consider reducing the pressure on that nifty new high pressure coolant system; but that tends to negate the whole purpose of having high pressure coolant doesn’t it? So what is causing the problem? Why do coolants foam? Well there are numerous reasons that can lead to metalworking fluids foaming.

1.        Air entrained into the fluid can cause the coolant pumps to cavitate and create additional foam, which leads to even more foam the longer the coolant pumps runs.
2.        Higher coolant pressures (1000psi plus), pushing fluid through small tool orifices with high RPM spindles can entrain air into the fluid (High pressure/low volume).
3.        Inadequate sump volume and/or poor sump design can lead to foam build up.
4.        High cutting fluid turn over, with inadequate dwell/rest time for the fluid to release entrained air.
5.        High fluid temperature; the more the fluids temperature increases so does its potential to foam.
6.        Excessive coolant concentration; running the coolant concentration higher than the manufacturer recommends.

So as you can see there are many potential causes for foam build up. The big question is - what can you do about it? Other than adding anti-foam additions to the sump which can be very costly; the best solution is to refer to your metalworking fluid manufacturer and purchase a coolant which is designed for high pressure coolant systems. So… got foam? Give your coolant representative a call and get the right fluid for the job.

Stay tuned for more useful coolant tips, from The Coolant Guy!

Best regards,

Brett Reynolds, CMFS


Brett Reynolds, “The Coolant Guy” works for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
If you would like more useful information regarding metalworking fluids, or would like to find out more information about Blaser metalworking fluid products,
Please contact Brett at 801-722-4095 or via
theoilbaronbulletin@blogspot.com
The Oil Baron Bulletin is not affiliated with Blaser Swisslube Inc. or its subsidiaries