About Metalworking Fluids and More

Two science papers from Quaker Chemical Corp. are worth reading for what they say about key developments in metalworking technology.


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Aluminum High Speed Machining” quickly delves into an explanation of why HSM conditions (18,000 rpm, in this study) produce remarkable results, such as improved surface finish, lower machining forces and longer tool life, in addition to significant productivity gains (increased metal removal rates). Given these benefits, users might wonder if the quality of the metalworking fluid applied in HSM contributes any further value, which it clearly does in conventional machining. Results show that a properly formulated fluid does offer significant benefit, especially in terms of reduced tool wear and part quality. In HSM of aluminum, the right fluid still helps.

Whether or not your focus is on metalworking fluids, this paper is a good reminder why HSM is an important option for higher productivity. 


Lubrication & Machining of Compacted Graphite Iron” starts by asserting that a deeper understanding of the machining properties of compacted graphite iron (CGI), along with an understanding of the metalworking fluid properties required to reduce wear and extend tool life in CGI machining would benefit the industry and promote wider use of CGI. I found this paper to be a worthwhile step in that direction.

As the paper clearly explains, the properties of CGI that yield stronger, lighter components than those made of gray cast iron are the same properties that make the material difficult to machine and cause rapid tool wear. One of the properties of CGI is the absence of sulfur, the alloying substance in gray cast iron that helps make it so machinable while prolonging tool life. So how about adding sulfur to the metalworking fluid? Does this additive compensate for the sulfur missing in CGI?

The findings presented in the paper indicate that it does. The important benefits that follow are well explained. With or without this “happy ending,” the story of why gray cast iron and CGI are destined for very different fates makes this a worthwhile read.  


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