Micro lubrication is becoming a common machining commodity in Europe, but has yet to gain traction in America. Known by many names, perhaps the most common being MQL machining, or Minimal Quantity Lubrication, it can be easily found at retailers such as MagLube.com. While machinists unfamiliar with this lubrication method tend to distrust it, there are numerous proven benefits to stepping away from flood coolant and embracing this new technology.
Traditional machining makes use of MWFs, or Metal Working Fluids, to both lubricate and cool cutting bits and tools. This is done by flooding the area with lubricant to ensure that everything is covered. To perform this, a number of extra machines are needed. The fluid must be stored, dispensed, filtered, tested, cleaned and recovered. All of this requires more machinery and extra costs.
On the other hand, micro lubrication requires very little equipment. Only ounces of fluid are dispensed within an eight-hour shift, and the liquid doesn’t need to be recovered, filtered or tested because it’s intentionally designed to vaporize from the machine’s heat.
MWFs are known to cause harm to humans, especially for those experiencing long-term exposure. Common health problems from MWFs include dermatitis and various forms of cancer, making this a potentially lethal risk for workers. The risk rises as workers are exposed to more lubricant throughout the years.
Micro lubrication has no known health problems. Composed of highly refined plant oils, this liquid is considered safe around people while also being environmentally friendly. The lack of synthetic ingredients also makes the lubricant more affordable.
Extended Tool Life
One of the worries machinists face with micro lubrication is that they believe it will reduce tool life. This makes logical sense because less lubrication should result in inefficient work. The truth is that this fluid is 300-times more lubricating than MWFs, and it provides better efficiency by thoroughly coating the cutting bit.
Due to its superior performance in regards to removing heat and reducing friction, tools last twice as long on average. Not only that, but profits increase and maintenance is reduced because there is no need to clean the parts after cutting is finished.
Micro lubrication has largely been recognized as the superior, cleaner and safer technology when compared to traditional MWFs. Along with the benefits of improved tool life and reducing the total number of necessary equipment pieces, this lubricant is also considered safe for both humans and the environment.