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Coolants, Lubricants, and Cutting Fluids

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band-saw-cutting-fluid-content1Saw blades can quickly overheat, distorting and even damaging the material being cut. Coolants, Lubricants, and Cutting Fluids are necessary in order to prevent such occurrences.

Coolants, Lubricants, and Cutting Fluids are terms used to describe one thing: Cutting Fluid, a liquid used to dissipate heat, lubricate the band saw blade teeth, and flush debris from the gullet. Whichever word chosen to describe the material, it all applies. Coolant because the material is necessary to prevent the saw blade from overheating, Lubricant, because keeping the blade slick during use prevents chips from building up on the blade, and Cutting Fluid, because the material is applied during the cutting process.

If the cutting fluid isn’t working to cool the saw blade’s teeth, then the teeth will soften and become dull. If the cutting fluid is only distributed to one side of the saw blade, then the opposite side of that blade will become dull. This results in having the blade move toward the side that has the most cutting fluid, resulting in a crooked cut.

The chips are supposed to lodge in the small space between the saw’s teeth and be carried smoothly out of the cut. Without the proper use of cutting fluids, two issues will arise:

One, the unwanted formation of an unbalanced saw blade happens when the chips become welded to the teeth, resulting in a change in the shape of the teeth, which will change the amount of force needed to cut using that blade.

Two, a crooked cut and dull blade also result because the chips will end up being wedged into the cut. Since the chip is now work-hardened (harder than the stock from which it came), the blade will cut into the stock beside the chips.

Cutting fluid is important and a must when cutting through metal. A good-quality cutting fluid lubricating a bandsaw blade is an important factor in straight cutting. Choosing the right cutting fluid for this particular job will help to improve not only the cut but also prolong the life of the saw blade.

When selecting a cutting fluid, choose one of high quality. There are four main types of cutting fluids available on the market today. They feature different properties that make them ideal for cutting through different materials.

Synthetic Fluids

These fluids do not contain any oil-based products and are actually made from compounds. They include additives which prevent corrosion and are normally used diluted. Synthetic fluids offer the best cooling when compared to the others, but they are more expensive.

An example of synthetic fluid is 5250 Blue Star Synthetic Sawing Fluid. It is a translucent blue, water soluble, synthetic sawing fluid that is designed to be used in moderate to heavy-duty sawing, where long life of the coolant is desired. 5250 can also be used in all machining operations.

Dilution Rates

1:7 for sawing applications
1:20 for general machining
1:10 for grinding uses

Semi-synthetic fluids

These are a mixture of both synthetic and soluble cutting fluids and share some of the synthetic characteristics. They are also less expensive.

And example fluid would be 5030, which is a translucent, water soluble sawing fluid designed for general purpose sawing but is perfectly applicable to all machining operations. 5030 offers a good sump life and operator acceptance and is easy to maintain and control. It is also waste treatable using standard fluid treatment procedures and systems.

Dilution

1:7 for sawing applications
1:20 for general machining
1:10 for grinding uses

5040 Semi-Synthetic Sawing Fluid is a translucent pink, water soluble sawing fluid designed as a general purpose sawing fluid where long life of the coolant is desired. 5040 is also good for use in all machining operations.

Dilution

1:7 for sawing applications
1:20 for general machining
1:10 for grinding uses

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