Excessive heat, entry shock, and high-speed abrasion are the top three blade destroyers, causing bandsaw blades to prematurely wear and fail.
Shortened blade life causes expense by having to spend more money purchasing new blades.
To help protect bandsaw blades from early fail, and to help save time and money, it is recommended that bandsaw operators use cutting fluid.
Cutting fluid can mean coolant or lubricant. The terms are indiscriminate now and used to describe either coolant or lubricant.
They are used to dissipate heat on a saw blade as it works its way through the material, providing a coating or lubricant to the blade — increasing blade life, protecting the cut, and easing machine operation.
There are two cutting fluid types offered in two colors:
Full Synthetic (Pure Synthetic) coolant does not contain mineral oil. Full synthetic is translucent blue liquid designed for moderate to heavy-duty sawing, where longer coolant life is desired and achieved. It is easy to use since there is no need to add water.
Semi-Synthetic coolant contains a mixture of 5-50% mineral oil and emulsifies in water.
5030 Semi-Synthetic is translucent pink or clear. Both are designed for general purpose cutting and do not have a long lifespan. It is low-grade coolant with no corrosion control and a strong odor but affordable for companies that require extra use of cutting fluids.
5040 Semi-Synthetic is a pink, high-grade semi-synthetic cutting fluid designed for general purpose cutting where longer coolant life is essential. Excellent corrosion control to protect machine parts and prevent rust. Has a mild odor and is non-eye and nose irritant. It is more expensive due to its grade and features.
Dilution for these coolants will depend on the types of materials being cut.
The harder the material, the more concentrated the coolant. The softer the material, the less coolant used.
An example of dilution follows.
For sawing applications — 1:7 or 1 gallon of coolant to 7 gallons of water
For general machining — 1:20 or 1 gallon of coolant to 20 gallons of water
For grinding — 1:10 or 1 gallon of coolant to 10 gallons of water
The best aspect of coolant is that they are environment friendly and non-toxic. They are easy to maintain, and the residue is easily removed with an alkaline cleaner or warm water.
Knowing the right coolant to use for the right material is one of the best ways to lengthen saw blade life.