Things to Know about Dry Metal Machining

Metal machining is used for a wide range of materials today and most applications are commonly used with some kind of coolant or lubricant. However, this can present problems in the modern machine shop today and many companies are looking into dry or low coolant methods. Here are some things you might want to know about the process, to help you get a better understanding.

Good and Bad about Coolant

When you cut, mill, grind or change the surface of metals, a great deal of friction is created. Friction generates heat and this is a big enemy of metals, tools and equipment. In fact, when some metals get hot, it can change the temper and important characteristics of the work piece. This is why coolants like water or oils are used in the process.

Coolant and lubricant can improve the fabrication process and your tools will last longer. Here is an example. Suppose you have two wood screws and you place a drop of oil on the threads of one and the other remains dry. Which screw will be easier to drive into wood? Coolant can also be an excellent lubricant. Lubricant not only facilitates metal machining, it can speed up the process.

Most good things also have a downside and maintenance on a coolant system can be expensive and time consuming. You either have to dispose of used coolant frequently or install a system to separate, filter and recycle coolant.

Dry Machining

If you eliminate or reduce the need for coolant you can limit its disadvantages. However, this is not easily done. Yet, choosing the right metals can be the solution. For example, some aluminum and stainless steel alloys are best machined with minimal cutting fluids. In fact, if fluids are used you run the risk of stains and contamination and for some types of medical components, contamination is not an option.

Machining steel can often be done without cutting fluids. However, for low carbon steels, this may be almost impossible, because it can become sticky during the cutting process.

Professional Assistance

If you have special dry metal machining needs, you may want to consult with a machine shop providing custom fabrication services. They have years of experience in the metal working industry and can handle specific needs and entire projects when required. This way, you can be assured of delivering high quality materials to your customers and on time. Plus, you will not have to be concerned with production problems.

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