Metalworking 101: Intro To Flood Coolants

Metalworking 101: Intro To Flood Coolants

A&M Industrial provides unparalleled industry expertise for machine shops and metal fabricators. Our Cutting & Precision Tools group specializes in the sale and application of high-speed steel (HSS) and carbide cutting tools, both solid and indexable, abrasives, and metalworking fluids. We work with your machinists to introduce new tooling geometries/grades and the latest abrasive grains and coolants that increase tool and sump life, and workholding for precision, performance and productivity. That said, we know there’s a lot of confusion out there regarding selection of the right flood coolant for the job. Whether holemaking, milling, or turning, we can help you select the right tools and flood coolant for your application.

The Rustlick™ product line, from ITW Pro Brands, consists of a variety of eco-friendly cutting and grinding fluids designed to lubricate and cool. Rustlick™ coolants are known for long sump life, advanced bioresistance and heavy-duty formulations that reduce coolant use and cut costs. Rustlick™ also offers dielectric fluids, rust preventatives, sump-side additives, and coolant maintenance equipment.

Flood Cooling Basics

Flood coolants are work horses when it comes to removing metals in a precise manner. These products provide the lubrication, cooling and flushing required to remove metal chips, flakes, etc. The fluids themselves are generally diluted with fresh, clean water to an optimum dilution rate best determined by the type of metal and metal cutting process. Flood coolants are recycled and reused until they begin to break down. For the novice, understanding flood coolants can be tricky. So, let’s begin with a few basics:

There are 4 major types: straight oils, water soluble oils, semi-synthetics, and synthetics.

  1. Straight Oils: simple oils-based fluid that provides a high degree of lubricity but not much cooling. Good for slow machining processes, generally hand applied though not always.
  2. Water Soluble Oils (WSO): mostly oils to which water can be added to form an emulsion. Great lubricity and some cooling ability (~70% oil to ~30% water).
  3. Semi-Synthetics: mainly water with additives (high tech soaps) with some oil. Decent lubricity and better cooling (~30-50% oil to ~40-70% water).
  4. Synthetics: water based with additives, no oils, great cooling properties, great for high-speed operations, less lubricity.

How Do You Choose A Flood Coolant?

So how do you choose which one to use? There is much to learn in this regard but here are the top 10 considerations to get the ball rolling:

  1. What are you working on? Metal type? Mild steel, stainless steel, titanium, yellow metals, exotic metals, plastic, etc.
  2. What is the type of machine you are using? (Actual types of metal working like broaching, cutting, sawing, drilling, reaming, etc.)
  3. Severity of the operation?
  4. How is the quality of the water? Hard or Soft?  How do you know?
  5. What type of filtration are you using?
  6. What is the size of the operation?
  7. Are there storage and control considerations?
  8. Freedom from evil “side effects” … rancidity, skin affects, etc.
  9. Ease of disposal and recycling.
  10. Chemical restrictions.

Need additional support selecting the right flood coolant for your machining application? Contact the A&M Industrial Metalworking Team today and let us help you with your chemical solutions. We can help you to measure and improve cutting fluid performance, troubleshoot common metalworking fluid challenges, assist with sump maintenance, and more.



Shop metalworking fluidsAMI-ITW-Sales-Flyer

A&M Industrial is full line distributor of trusted ITW Pro Brands, including LPS, LPS Max, LPS Detex, Rustlick, Accu-Lube, Dykem, Dymon, and more. Our latest ITW PRO Brands sales flyer features best-selling metalworking solutions at limited time only pricing, plus technical resources including metalworking fluid selection and application charts.