How “Nano-Onions” Help Improve Cutting Performance
Nano-scale carbon structures blended with this company’s coolant is said to provide increased tool life and overall cutting performance.
Simply put, “nano-onions” are spherical, nano-scale carbon structures. The nano-onions developed by Tool-X (Rochester, Michigan) that are blended with the company’s SS-500 low-oil, semi-synthetic coolant offer physical properties that enable the coolant to provide increased tool life and overall cutting performance when machining ferrous and nonferrous materials.
The nano-onion particles in the SS-500 coolant feature a multi-layer structure that absorbs liquid and releases it under the pressure of cutting directly at the tool/workpiece interface. This is said to reduce cutting forces, which results in better surface finishes and increased speeds, feeds and material removal rates. The shearing action that the nano-onions are exposed to during machining also amplifies the number of particles in the coolant, improving coolant lubricity. Heat dissipation is an added benefit due to the nano-onions’ thermally conductive properties. In addition, the particles effectively shot peen the surface of a tool, smoothing and improving the tool’s surface finish.
The company says these characteristics enable the SS-500 coolant to increase tool life by as much as 400 percent and help reduce the effects of virtually every root cause of tool failure, including built-up edge, flank wear, chipping, crater wear and plastic deformation. Overall, the SS-500 coolant combines the lubricity of a soluble oil coolant with the cleanliness of a synthetic coolant, and can be used for a range of machining applications such as milling, drilling, tapping, turning, boring, sawing and grinding.
Precision Tool Technologies found capacity for diversification not by adding machines, people or space, but by freeing up time. Running unattended—running so it can machine through all 168 hours in the week—has enabled this shop to use hours when staff is present to deliver work that lands outside its established specialty. To achieve unattended machining, some of the biggest challenges have related to basic details such as chips and coolant.
Minimum quantity lubricant can save money, improve tool life and improve the part finish. But it may involve changes to both the equipment and the processing strategy.
With their strong attention to routine housekeeping, it's not surprising that this shop carefully researched all methods for removing tramp oil from coolant in machine sumps. If tramp oil is allowed to build up in the coolant, the resulting shop odor, smoke generation and unpleasant conditions for the operators will quickly undermine all efforts to keep a clean shop and maintain an optimum working environment.