Many metalworking fluids have traditionally relied on formaldehyde-donating (FAD) biocide technology to help maximise machine sump life. However, under new legislation that came into effect on 1 December, any product which incorporates over 1,000 ppm of a FAD containing biocide will need to be labelled as a carcinogenic product.

In response, Fuchs Lubricants has developed a range of EcoCool products which do not rely on FAD technology and therefore do not require carcinogenic labelling – and yet still maintain strong performance. Fuchs’ largest customers moved over to the new technology prior to the December deadline and have reported improved tool life, improved cleanliness and excellent equipment sump life.

Alex Holmes, UK industrial product manager at Fuchs Lubricants, says: “The creation of metalworking products that are free of FAD containing biocides is a notable chemistry achievement by our R&D teams. They have overcome the significant challenges in creating these products by using sophisticated techniques, developing lubricants which are not only safer to use, but in many cases perform better. This puts us ahead of our competitors, many of which are still trying to find a way to retain good performance while conforming to the new labelling legislation.”

During tapping torque tests carried out in Fuchs’ R&D laboratory, EcoCool UltraLife A+ showed a 31% decrease in the energy required to form a tapped hole compared with the equivalent competitor product on the same metal. Equally, the product demonstrated a 76% reduction in the energy required to remove the tool after formation of the tapped hole. Both of these measurements show that EcoCool UltraLife A+ reduces potential tool wear, increases swarf removal and ensures a better finish on the material.

Across the EcoCool FAD-free product range, both hard and soft water are tolerated over a range of metalworking processes, allowing product rationalization. High performance can be achieved when machining a variety of materials, including cast iron, stainless, Duplex and Super Duplex steels, titanium and its alloys, and aerospace aluminium, along with the more widely used automotive aluminium alloys.

Fuchs’ FAD-free chemistry has been developed to provide high levels of lubricity, cooling and corrosion protection. All of the products in the FAD-free product range are manufactured in the UK at Fuchs’ plant in Stoke.