Cutting Tool Lubricants
Cutting tool lubricants, or cutting fluids, are used for a variety of purposes in metalworking, including:
- Cooling the cutting zone. Cutting tool lubricants help to remove heat from the cutting zone, which prevents the tool from overheating and becoming damaged. This is especially important when cutting hard materials, which generate a lot of heat.
- Lubricating the interface between the tool and the workpiece. Cutting tool lubricants help to reduce friction between the tool and the workpiece, which helps to prevent the tool from wearing out prematurely. This is especially important when cutting high-speed steel, which is a very hard material.
- Flushing away chips. Cutting tool lubricants help to flush away chips from the cutting zone, which helps to prevent the chips from clogging the tool and interfering with the cutting process.
- Improving surface finish. Cutting tool lubricants can help to improve the surface finish of the workpiece by preventing the tool from gouging the surface. This is especially important when cutting delicate materials, such as plastics or composites.
- Protecting the workpiece from corrosion. Cutting tool lubricants can help to protect the workpiece from corrosion by forming a protective film on the surface of the workpiece. This is especially important when cutting materials that are prone to corrosion, such as aluminum or magnesium.
The type of cutting tool lubricant that is used will depend on the specific application. For example, oil-based lubricants are often used for high-speed cutting, while water-based lubricants are often used for low-speed cutting.
Some common types of cutting fluids include:
- Oil-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants are the most common type of cutting tool lubricant. They are effective at cooling and lubricating the cutting zone, and they also provide some protection against corrosion.
- Water-based lubricants. Water-based lubricants are less viscous than oil-based lubricants, and they evaporate more quickly. This makes them a good choice for applications where heat buildup is a concern.
- Air-based lubricants. Air-based lubricants are the least viscous type of cutting tool lubricant. They are not as effective at cooling and lubricating as oil-based or water-based lubricants, but they do provide some protection against corrosion.
Cutting tool lubricants are an important part of metalworking, and they can help to improve the performance and longevity of cutting tools. When choosing a cutting tool lubricant, it is important to consider the specific application and the type of workpiece that is being cut.