Cutting Fluid: Definition, Purpose, Properties, Types, Applications, and Selection

Cutting Fluid, Cutting oil

Before we go deep into the topic and find out about properties, types and application of Cutting fluid, let us first understand the basics of cutting fluid and what it actually is.

So What Are Cutting Fluids?

Cutting fluids are essentially the type of fluids which are generally used while cutting operation takes place. It is primarily applied in machining tasks which can be anything including drilling, milling, turning, cutting etc.

Cutting fluids are used for improving the cutting condition and life of the tool. It is also referred to as Coolant or lubricant because it is used to reduce the heat generated during the metal working operation or in other words to cool the cutting tools. It mostly comes in liquid form but can be in gaseous form too. Most of the time a cutting fluid is often confused with a coolant (a form of oil), but a cutting fluid performs multiple roles and functions.

Cutting fluids are most commonly used during the metal cutting process. Its main role is to avoid production of heat during the machining process. It keeps a check on the rise in temperature and the damage caused due to heat. Cutting fluids also reduce the friction significantly between two objects. It is used in the form of liquid which is applied to the chip zone in metal cutting. In simpler words it cools the tool and the work piece. Machining operation generates a lot of heat and thus a cooling fluid is required. Cutting fluid is the best oil available for that purpose.

What Are The Common Properties of Cutting Fluid?

Here are the most common properties of cutting fluids. Let’s have a look!

• It is known for its High heat absorbing capacity
• It has significantly high flash point
• It is non corrosive to the equipment’s which are used such as the main tool and work material
• Cutting fluid is usually harmless to operate and has no negative effect on the bearing
• It has extremely good lubrication properties which is helpful in decreasing the frictional force and to reduce the power consumption.
• Cutting fluids have high specific heat, high heat conductivity, and high film coefficient

Cutting Oils Are Odorless

When left in air, cutting oils are generally stable and hence do not get oxidized or decomposed easily.

• Protects work from rusting
• Improves surface finishing.
• Prevents the formation of Built-up edges (BUEs)
• It also washes away the chips from the cutting zone

What Are The Types of Cutting Fluids?

There are mainly four different types of cutting fluid available in the market which are generally used. They are as follows:
• Soluble cutting Oil
• Neat cutting oil
• Synthetic coolants
Solid lubricants

What Are Some of The Best Cutting Fluid Applications?

Let’s now understand more about its application. Although there are so many applications and purposes of using cutting, fluids the four most common applications are:

As a coolant – Cutting fluids are often used as coolant. It is applied to cool down the cutting tool, and cut piece.
As a lubricant – It is also used as a lubricant to lubricate the tools and the machinery so that it facilitates easier movement of the tool while on job and also reduces the cutting force and friction.
As a flushing fluid – It is used to wash off the chips and to get a better surface finish.

Selection Of Cutting Fluid:

Selection of cutting fluid plays an important role. It is advisable to select high quality cutting oils so you can derive optimal benefits from it. But the question arises how you ensure that you select the best cutting fluid. Let’s find Right selection of Cutting fluid primarily depends on the material to be cut along with the tool used.

It also majorly depends on what type of operation you want it to perform such as drilling, cutting or for something else.
Lastly it also depends upon the degree of the cooling effect required for the operations.

Now based upon these three choices, you have to select the right cutting fluid for you. We bring to you the list of materials along with the kind of cutting fluid you should apply for each material. This will make your job much easier and also let you select the best cutting fluid.

Here are some common types of material and the recommended cutting fluid for optimum efficiency

• CI, Brass – dry fluid is best
• For copper based material – Turpentine is recommended
• Aluminum – Kerosene is the best choice of cutting fluid
• Steel – You can use any type of cutting fluids
• For high-speed steel and for hard steel or bronze – You should use neat cutting fluids or mineral oils.

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