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Experts in Metalworking Fluids Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Want to protect your equipment from rusting?

Need to reduce heat build-up?

Want to use products that are environmentally friendly and safe to use?

Here are some answers to the most common questions in the industry when it comes to metalworking fluids.

What are Metalworking Fluids?

Metalworking fluids are oils and water-based liquids used to cool and lubricate metal parts when they’re being bored, stamped, ground, or cut. These processes generate heat that needs to be reduced to ensure optimum productivity and better quality. The cooling benefits of metalworking fluids will help prolong the life of your cutting tools and help to prevent damage to the parts you manufacture.

Are There Different Types of Metalworking Fluids? What are They?

There are four major types of metalworking fluids used:

  • Straight Oils – these are also known as cutting or neat oils. They have an oily appearance, aren’t diluted with water and usually contain chlorinated and sulphated additives.
  • Soluble Oils – these contain up to 85% refined mineral oils, as well as emulsifiers. Their dilution in water creates a is milky appearance.
  • Semi-Synthetic – these contain a much lower amount of well refined base oil and are similar to soluble oils. Their dilution in water appears translucent.
  • Synthetic – these don’t contain any petroleum-based oil and are the cleanest of the metalworking fluid range. They also provide the best heat reduction, prolonged life and are is transparent when diluted in water.

What are the Functions of Metalworking Fluids?

  • Cooling – reduces heat build-up when you’re cutting.
  • Lubrication – helps reduce friction between the tool and the metal that’s being removed.
  • Corrosion Protection – protects your tools and machines against rust.

Can One Metalworking Fluid be Mixed with Another?

We advise you not to top off with a different type of metalworking fluid unless you’re sure the fluids are compatible. A cleaning and dumping procedure will need to be carried out first.

How can you tell if a fluid is no longer suitable for use?

There are various signs that a fluid is no longer safe to use. If one or more of the following occur, the fluid should be evaluated and replaced:

  • Rancid smell 
  • Excessive foaming
  • Change in colour of fluid
  • Low sump level
  • Floating objects, such as dirt and/or grid on the fluid
  • Dirty machines
  • Skin irritation of workers
  • Tool failure
  • Bacterial growth
  • Stained metal or tool

What are the factors to be considered when selecting an MWF?

  • Toxicity of the fluid component – avoid carcinogenic components such as PAH-containing oils, chlorinated paraffins, secondary amines, nitrites and biocides that release formaldehyde. MetPro’s SyntheCut and SyntheCool are fully synthetic and non-hazardous.
  • Flammability – straight oils usually contains mineral oils which are solvent refined and hence pose a fire risk.

What are the health concerns involved when working with Metalworking Fluids?

The most common health concern when you work with metalworking fluids is Dermatitis with contact through skin and air. Other health risks include asthma, irritation of the respiratory tract, pneumonitis, hypersensitivity and even cancer. If health and safety regulations by the manufacturer and workers aren’t followed properly, your health will be at risk. Our SyntheRange is safe to use and environmentally friendly!

What work controls need to be in place to reduce employee exposure?

  • Personal hygiene – this is very important in preventing skin disorders. Data sheets should be adhered to.
  • Barrier creams – these help prevent contact with harmful agents from metalworking fluids. Creams should be selected based on the characteristics of the fluid being used.
  • Housekeeping 
  • Periodic inspection and maintenance
  • Supervision

Have More Questions? We Have Answers!

With over 70 years of experience in the field, our approach to customer satisfaction is achieved by clearly understanding your needs, so that we can offer the most suitable and cost-effective solution to you, our customer!

Contact MetPro today for a brochure and samples of our metalworking fluids by filling out our form, or give us a call at 517-586-0011. We’ll be more than happy to work with you and figure out the best protection for your products



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