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Coolants, Lubricants, and Cutting Fluids

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Saw blades can quickly overheat, distorting whatever is being cut and even damage the material being worked.

Cutting fluids (lubricants) are applied while cutting the material in order to avoid having the blades heat up. This helps to keep the blade cool and prevents the chips from welding to the teeth. Lubricated chips allow them to be removed from the gullets and to move easily through the cut.

If cutting fluid isn’t working to cool the blade teeth, the teeth will soften and become dull, and if the cutting fluid is only distributed to one side of the blade, the opposite side will become dull, too, and cause the blade to move toward the side that has the most cutting fluid. The result is a crooked cut.

The chip must lodge in a small space between the teeth and be carried smoothly out of the cut. Without the proper use of cutting fluids, two issues will arise. The chips will become welded to the teeth, resulting in a change in the shape of the teeth, which in turn, will change the amount of force required for our blade to cut.  And, the unwanted formation of an unbalanced blade, which will produce a crooked cut. The chips may end up being wedged into the cut, and since the chip is work-hardened (harder than the stock from which it came), the blade will cut into the stock beside the chips.  Again, the result is a crooked cut and a dull blade.

Cutting fluid is important.  A good quality cutting fluid in a band saw is one of the most important factors in straight cutting. Choose the right cutting fluid to help you improve the cut and also improve the life of your saw blades. It is a must when cutting through metal.

When selecting a cutting fluid, choose one of high quality.

There are four main types of cutting fluids are 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 cutting fluids – These are a mixture of both synthetic and soluble cutting fluids and share some of the characteristics with these. They are also cheaper than synthetic fuels.

And example fluid would be 5030, which is a translucent, water soluble sawing fluid designed for general purpose sawing but is perfectly useable in all machining operations. 5030 offers a good sump life and operator acceptance and is also 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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  • Jim Goldsbrough

    Very interesting and informative.
    We at Magnus Chemicals develop and manufacture high end coolants, I would agree with most of the comments above, however I would say that a lower concentration could be used for grinding compared to general machining. Grinding typically requires more cooling that slip additives, as a general rule I would say you could go as low as 30:1 for grinding applications.

    • Gadbois

      Thanks for the information Jim. Good to know and we appreciate your time to share your knowledge and experience.