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  • Writer's pictureHill and Griffith

Types of Metalcutting Fluids and Cutting Oils

Metal Cutting fluids are an instrumental part of metal machining due to their improvement of the tool life, reduction of the work piece thermal radiation, flushing away chips from the cutting area, and improving the surface finish.

There are four main categories of metalcutting fluids and cutting oils:

Straight metal cutting oils

These oils are non-emulsifiable and very useful in metal machining operations where they function in undiluted form. Their composition is a base mineral or even petroleum oil. Often they contain polar lubricants like vegetable oils, fats and esters. They may also contain extreme pressure additives including sulphur, chlorine, and phosphorus. To achieve the best lubrication you can use straight metal cutting oils, however they may have poor cooling characteristics.

Synthetic metal cutting fluids

They do not contain mineral oil base or petroleum. Instead, they’re formulated from the alkaline organic and inorganic compounds alongside additives to prevent corrosion. They function well in their diluted form. Of all the varieties of cutting fluids, synthetic fluids offer the best cooling performance.

Soluble metal cutting oils

Soluble Oils usually form an emulsion after mixing them with water. The resulting concentrate contains emulsions and a base mineral oil to produce a stable emulsion. They function well in their diluted form and offer a great lubrication in addition to heat transfer performance. They are the least expensive and are the most widely used metal cutting fluids in the industry.

Semi-synthetic metal cutting fluids

These fluids are basically a combination of the soluble oils and synthetic fluids. Besides, the heat transfer performance and cost of the semi-synthetic fluids falls between those of the soluble and synthetic fluids. Therefore, if you would like to benefit from the properties and functions of the soluble and synthetic oils, you can try a semi-synthetic fluid. (Thanks to UNIST Australia,


What is metal cutting oil made of?

They may be made from petroleum distillates, animal fats, plant oils, water and air, or other raw ingredients. Depending on context and on which type of metal cutting fluid is being considered, it may be referred to as cutting fluid, cutting oil, cutting compound, coolant, or lubricant.

(Thanks to Cutting fluid - Wikipedia


How does metal cutting fluid work?

Unless you're doing dry machining, you'll use some kind of metal cutting oil or metal cutting fluid in your machines. Metal cutting fluids and oils provide lubrication and cooling. They also help remove chips from the cutting area. (Thanks to How It Works – Cutting Fluids | Today's Machining World


Industry News from the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA) and National Association of Lubricating Grease Manufacturers, Inc. (NLGI)

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