A clean metalworking fluid system provides better machining, surface finish, and tool life than a dirty system. Metal fines, bacteria, and tramp oil are all problems that can escalate over time, each of these can warrant a cleanout.
Sometimes a cleanout is inevitable, but proper coolant maintenance can help prolong sump life. Before a system is cleaned out, a sample should be sent to the Lube-Tech lab to determine the potential mode of failure.
- Remove the coolant from the sump.
- Vacuum out all the metal swarf and debris from the sump, return trenches, oil pans, chip conveyors, and filtration units.
- Fill the system with enough water to circulate through the sump and lines. Add in Lube-Tech Machine Shop Clean at a concentration of 5%. Allow this mixture to circulate through the system for 1-3 hours. Drain this cleaner mixture from the system.
- Fill the sump with a 1-2% coolant mixture. Allow this mixture to circulate in the system for another 1-3 hours to remove any residual cleaner. Drain this mixture.
- Charge the system with fresh coolant mixture at the desired operating concentration.
Fluid Maintenance Tips
- Regularly check and record the coolant concentration.
- Provide daily make-up using a weak coolant dilution of 2-3%. NEVER MAKE-UP USING ONLY WATER OR STRAIGHT COOLANT. This leans out in-use coolant over time and does not replenish important additives present in the coolant concentrate (biocides, rust preventatives, pH buffers, etc.)
- Remember to mix oil in water – not the other way around!
- Test water quality to determine coolant compatibility.
- If the machine is used intermittently, be sure to periodically circulate the fluid through the system.
- Equip the system with a tramp oil separator or belt skimmer.