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The Importance of Coolants in Aluminum Machining

The Importance of Coolants in Aluminum Machining

Coolants are an instrumental part of machining, including grinding, milling, and turning. They help extend tool life and provide an improved surface finish for the parts being machined. Understanding the role and types of coolant help you select a coolant that is the right fit for your machine and operation. By properly maintaining the concentration levels of your coolant, you extend not only the life of the coolant but also your tools and machine.

What is the Role of Coolants?

The critical functions of coolant in the aluminum machining process include:

  • Reducing and removing the heat build-up in the cutting zone and workpiece
  • Provides lubrication to reduce friction between the tool and remove the chips
  • Flushes away chips and small abrasive particles from the work area
  • Protects against corrosion

The type of machining and materials machined determine the type of coolant to use as well as what balance of cooling and lubrication is needed. By altering the mixing ratio or concentration of the coolant, you get a different balance of cooling and lubrication. A leaner mix provides you with better cooling while a more concentrated blend gives you more lubrication.

How To Choose Aluminum Cutting Fluid?


Different cutting fluids should be selected according to the requirements of machining conditions and machining accuracy. For high-speed machining, a large amount of heat can be generated, such as high-speed cutting, drilling, etc. If the generated heat cannot be taken away by the cutting fluid in time, tool sticking will occur, and in severe cases, the built-up edge will occur, which will seriously affect The machining roughness of the workpiece and the service life of the tool, and the heat can also deform the workpiece, which seriously affects the accuracy of the workpiece.

Therefore, the choice of cutting fluid should take into account its own lubricity and cooling performance. For finishing, it is easy to choose emulsified anti-friction cutting fluid or low-viscosity cutting oil. For semi-finishing and roughing, you can choose a low concentration. Emulsified anti-friction cutting fluid or semi-synthetic anti-friction cutting fluid with good cooling performance. In the selection of cutting fluid for turning aluminum alloy, in addition to the lubricity and cooling performance of the cutting fluid, it must also be considered The performance of cutting fluid in terms of rust resistance, cost, and easy maintenance.

Cutting oil is easy to choose base oil with relatively low viscosity to add anti-friction additives so that it can achieve lubrication and anti-friction, but also has good cooling and easy filtering. However, the problem with cutting oil is its low flash point. In high-speed cutting, the smoke is heavier, the flash point is low, the risk factor is high, the volatilization is fast, and the user’s use cost is correspondingly high. Therefore, try to use water-soluble when conditions permit. Cutting fluid.

For water-based cutting fluids, it is more important to consider their rust resistance. For workpieces that have been stored for a long time between procedures, it is easy to choose cutting fluids with rust inhibitors during processing, because long-term contact of silicon substances with aluminum materials will cause corrosion to produce black “silicon spots”. The pH value of the cutting fluid is mostly maintained between 8-10. If the rust resistance is not good, the aluminum material is easily corroded under this alkaline condition. Therefore, the water-soluble cutting fluid must have good aluminum anti-rust performance.

The following are the recommended cutting oils for different machining processes:

  • For finishing, choose emulsified anti-friction cutting fluid or low-viscosity cutting oil.
  • For fine grinding or super fine grinding, use low-viscosity anti-friction grinding oil or semi-synthetic anti-friction cutting fluid.
  • For semi-finishing or rough grinding, low-concentration semi-synthetic cutting fluid or fully synthetic cutting fluid can be selected.
  • For semi-finishing and rough machining, you can choose low-concentration emulsified anti-friction cutting fluid or semi-synthetic anti-friction cutting fluid with good cooling performance.

Aluminum ore resources are very rich and easy to recover. With the advancement of technology, its alloy properties are becoming more and more abundant. However, due to the soft texture and high plasticity of aluminum alloy, it is easy to stick to the tool during cutting, forming a built-up edge on the tool, and welding on the cutting edge during high-speed cutting, which makes the tool lose its cutting ability. Therefore, it is very important to choose aluminum alloy cutting fluid, not only to ensure good lubrication and anti-rust performance but also to have good cooling and filtering properties.

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DFM CNC Shop is a CNC manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication company, including CNC machining services, CNC milling services, CNC turning services, laser cutting services, and stamping services.

DFM CNC Shop offers professional CNC machining and rapid prototyping service for making a wide array of product parts. Our excellent quality control systems ensure that all our deliveries are speedy and standard for every manufacturing size in both low-volume and high-volume productions. Feel free to reach out for a free quote on your project.

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