FEATURE ARTICLE Dr. Nancy McGuire / Contributing Editor Minding the metalworking ﬂuids How the right tests, consistent monitoring and accurate records reduce machine down time and maintenance costs. KEY CONCEPTS • Metalworking operations are highly individualized individualiz d and require req ire a high hh h degree of ﬂuid customization. • Water-dilutable ﬂuids and straight oils need different types of monitoring. • Fluid managers and vendors work with metal shop staff to match ﬂuids to operations perations and keep ﬂuids in good condition. PROPERLY MAINTAINED METALWORKING FLUIDS (MWFS) PROVIDE LUBRICITY, COOLING, and corrosion inhibition, and they ﬂush chips and other debris away from the work surface. Unlike hydraulic or lubricating ﬂuids, metalworking ﬂuids are exposed to the shop environment—they can pick up microbes, dust and other contaminants in a way that other ﬂuids don’t. Keeping ﬂuids in good shape requires knowing the sources of performance-limiting problems, knowing how to prevent them and catching problems in the early stages. There are numerous ASTM standard test methods covering many of the condition monitoring protocols used for MWFs, but the real issue is that the variety of demands on MWFs is greater than those placed on, say, engine lubricants. It’s a wide open market, and end-users work with whatever provides the best performance, says STLE-member Neil Canter, principal at Chemical Solutions in Willow Grove, Pa. He notes that metal shops rely heavily on longstanding relationships with their ﬂuid vendors and management services, which can provide testing services and recommendations. A. ÎÎÎ 32 The only element in the halide family that is a liquid at room temperature and pressure is: chlorine, iodine, ﬂuorine or bromine.