Metalworking fluid (MWF) is the name given to a range of oils and other liquids that are used to cool and/or lubricate metal workpieces when they are being machined, ground, milled, etc. MWFs reduce the heat and friction between the cutting tool and the workpiece, and help prevent burning and smoking.
Metalworking fluids (MWFs) are used to reduce heat and friction and to remove metal particles in industrial machining and grinding operations. There are numerous formulations, ranging from straight oils (such as petroleum oils) to water-based fluids, which include soluble oils and semisynthetic/synthetic fluids. MWFs may be complex mixtures of oils, emulsifiers, anti-weld agents, corrosion inhibitors, extreme pressure additives, buffers (alkaline reserve), biocides, and other additives. In use, the fluid complexity is compounded by contamination with substances from the manufacturing process (such as tramp oils, hydraulic fluids, and particulate matter from grinding and machining operations). Furthermore, water-based metalworking fluids support microbial growth, which introduces biological contaminants (such as bacterial and fungal cells or cell components and their related biological byproducts such as endotoxins, exotoxins, and mycotoxins).
In various manufacturing processes, metalworking fluids (MWFs) are applied to ensure workpiece quality, to reduce tool wear, and to improve process productivity. The specific chemical composition of an applied MWF should be strongly dependent on the scope of application. Even small changes of the MWF-composition can influence the performance of MWFs in manufacturing processes considerably. Besides defined variations of the composition, the MWF-chemistry furthermore changes over the service life of the fluid.