Andrew Allcock introduces two companies and their products less well known in the UK and rounds up with introductions from more familiar names
At the recent MACH 2012 exhibition, 16-20 April, Henkel (01442 278235) took a stand for the first time. If you don't know that name, well, it is the company that bought Loctite some 15 years ago, but is, elsewhere in Europe, but not the UK, the company that offers Persil washing powder. And it is this link with cleaning technology that is key, because its coolant offering draws heavily on the company's cleaning technology, rather than leaning towards oil.
Henkel is headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, and has a turnover of many billions of euros, taking in cleaning, metal treatment, cutting fluids and bonding, and has a 30-year pedigree in the cutting oils/coolants arena, in fact.
The company's Multan 71-2 and 77-4 water-miscible cutting fluids are developed around cleaning technology, so use less oil and, although bactericide-free, they don't support bacteria growth – they are described as self healing, in fact (77-4 is for heavier cutting operation and has slightly higher oil content than 71-2). So, for Henkel, these Multan products typically employ only 5% concentrate, as opposed to others' 25 to 40%. The concentration for top-ups is also lower, at 0.5 to 2%. These two varieties of Multan (Multan is Henkel's generic name for all its coolants) are said to cover 90% of all applications.
They employ cocoa butter and other vegetable esters, together with secret ingredients that prevent bacteria growth and include a patented emulsifier to promote good wetting.
The concentrate is more expensive than traditional soluble products, but the company claims to be able to save customers 10% over a year, due to the fact that there is a lower consumption of the concentrate, as there is less drag-out of coolant, due to better wetting and run-off attributes. Better run-off also means that parts are more easily cleaned, reducing the consumption of cleaning chemicals. And the better wetting property is also instrumental in promoting excellent shape tolerance (circularity and cylindricity) and surface roughness, as well as low average peak-to-valley height.
So confident is the company that it offers a free trial to back up the claim. Machinery was told that the company has a 94% success rate in the UK.
BACTERIA BUFFER TECHNOLOGY
Another less well known name is Quaker Chemicals (01453 820800). It, too, has been looking at the bactericides in its products, seeking to remove boron as the means to this end. It has achieved this with Quakercool 7200, which is said to be suitable for operations where high surface finish quality and high lubrication are needed. Employing what it calls a 'boron-free pH buffer system', the product can replace boron-based formulations and provide enhanced machining performance, especially in the processing of aluminium, says the manufacturer.
Laurent Illievski, Quaker's European product manager, reports: "We have tested the Quakercool 7200 HBFF pH buffer against a series of measures to simulate field operations. We have measured lower forces and torques in our aluminium machining protocols: drilling with internal and external cooling; tapping and reaming with external cooling. But the biggest improvement is in the surface finish of the aluminium. In reaming, we reached much lower Ra and Rz figures, compared to those when using a reference product."
According to the company, it injected samples of both bacteria (gram negative and gram positive) and fungi (moulds and yeast) into the pH buffer system and, over a 10-week period, it remained biologically stable and outperformed boron-containing and other boron-free formulations.
Turning to more familiar names and Master Chemical (01449 726800) has recently unveiled Trim SC412, based on similar chemistry to its Trim SC415 low foaming, semi-synthetic cutting and grinding fluid, with this latest range addition suited to the economical machining and grinding of cast iron and steel.
While less expensive than the Master Chemical SC415, Trim SC412 is nevertheless described as a high quality metalworking fluid that provides excellent rust protection and eliminates build-up of graphite residue. The clean running formulation also prevents the loading of grinding wheels, ensuring good surface finish and minimal burning.
In addition to machining and grinding, Trim SC412 can be used for turning, drilling and tapping applications. Extremely hard water tolerant, it contains no DEA, chlorine, nitrites or phenolic compounds.
Pre-commercialisation trials carried out over a year at three European sites, including one in the UK, confirmed the product's bio-stability, low foam profile, corrosion protection, machine cleanliness and operator acceptance, says Master Chemical.
Blaser Swisslube's Vasco 7000 vegetable ester oil-based, micro emulsion cutting fluid (Jemtech, 01825 767640) is targeted at difficult-to-machine materials, including titanium and nickel-based alloys. It contains no chlorine, boron, formaldehyde or zinc, so it is said to be safe for operators, components and machine tools.
Its easy rinsing behaviour ensures components and machine tools are relatively clean after use, avoiding components becoming streaked from residual cutting fluids. It also means less topping up is required to maintain the correct cutting fluid strength.
Vasco 7000's economy, underlines Jemtech, is enhanced by the fact that it can be used in varying concentrations, with the optimum being between 5 and 8%. Depending on the application, top-up rates for Vasco 7000 are typically under 1%, ensuring that running costs for Vasco 7000 are minimised.
Jemtech adds that in high performance, high pressure coolant machining applications, the low foaming behaviour of Vasco 7000 supports a stable machining process with reduced downtime.
Jemtech (UK) managing director Steve Coull comments: "These applications, by their nature, are traditionally time-consuming, with reduced feedrates and surface speeds. By changing to Vasco 7000, these limits are increased. I see it becoming a very popular product in our range."
What a waste
Another company that is trying to save companies money by simultaneously reducing the amount of coolant they throw away and improving the scrap value of its metals is Nederman (08452 743434). The company has just issued a report – 'What a waste – that highlights that by implementing better swarf processing they can achieve both aims. The report offers examples that raise the amount of money received from each tonne of swarf by from £122 to over £609.
Savings are broken down more thoroughly under three headings: Swarf – [a] the increased value of the swarf produced after processing and [b] the quantities of swarf produced; Coolant – [c] the value of the coolant recovered, or saving made by being able to reuse coolant, and [d] the quantities of coolant recovered; Transport – [e] the reduction in transport costs after the swarf has been chipped and briquetted to maximise its density. Savings are equal to (AxB)+(CxD)+E. These savings are then set against any investment necessary to achieve them.
In one example, a car plant, Nederman puts figures to each variable. Swarf - [a] £50 per tonne (the increased value of the aluminium swarf produced after processing) and [b] 1,000 tonnes per year (the quantities of swarf produced); Coolant : [c] £1.25 per litre (the value of the coolant recovered - emulsion) and [d] 16,000 litres per year (the quantities of coolant recovered); Transport – [e] £52,000 (the reduction in transport costs after the swarf has been chipped and briquetted to maximise its density – a total of 260 fewer journeys). The savings in this case would be £122,000.
First published in Machinery, June 2012
Author: Andrew Allcock