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Minimum Quantity Lubrication Overview

What is MQL and why does it work better?

Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) is also called “Near Dry” or “Dry” or “Micro Dosing” Lubrication. MQL Lubricant is applied in an Aerosol format to the cutting edge of tooling only & in very small quantities – only what is needed for optimal performance, no more and no less.

WE MAKE EVERY DROP COUNT. The interface of the cutting tool and the work piece is coated with a thin layer of a high quality lubricant that is extremely efficient in reducing friction and therefore heat generation. With this reduction in heat generation the need for coolant is almost eliminated and the air that is used to apply the lubricant aerosol is enough to add cooling to the process.

With MQL most of the heat that is generated is due to the deformation of the chip and not the friction between the tool and the work piece. When the chip is sheared most of the heat is carried away with it!

What are the disadvantages of using Flood Coolant Method?

The real problem in metal working to address is friction and not the heat. The Flood coolant method works but rather addresses the symptom of heat generation by cooling the tool and the work piece with a large volume of coolant. Friction and Heat generation can actually change the molecular structure of tooling causing it to wear faster and in combination with the flood coolant thermal shock of the tooling can result in microscopic cracks which weaken the tool and could eventually lead to tool failure.

The Flood coolant method require a huge amount of lubricant (and storage space), and as it is continuously re-used it need to be pumped and filtered to be circulated adding tremendously to electricity costs, a lot of specialised testing equipment is needed & additives to prevent bacterial growth in the coolant.

When applying coolant some of it ends up into the pipes or other hollow sections being cut and it splashes all over the floors and equipment often causing problems in machinery. The coolant also irritates machinists’ skin and it can lead to Dermatitis. When it is time to replace the coolant with fresh coolant one is faced with the large volume of coolant that is costly to dispose of due to its high impact on the environment.

One litre of oil can make 1 million litres of water undrinkable!

MQL Benefits explained:

  1. Longer Tool life

  1. Better Product Finish & Dry Product

  1. Less downtime

  1. Electricity Savings

  1.  Tremendous Reduction on Environmental Impact

  1. Reduction in fluid consumption & fluid storage space

  1. “Dry” Chips that is worth more when recycled

  1. No Lube Waste Disposal costs