Which CNC machining cooling method should you choose

  Which CNC machining cooling method should you choose?

  Flood Cooling

  Flood cooling, also known as wet cooling, is probably the most used cooling technique. It involves spraying a continuous coolant jet into the contact area between the tool and the milled metal material. This is a very safe way to dissipate heat and at the same time it is very effective. The coolant jet also has the benefit of washing away the material chips generated during the milling machining process from the contact area. Disadvantages include the high cost of the coolant and how it spreads in and around the machine, requiring more cleaning. In addition, synthetic coolants are generally toxic and produce particles that are harmful to the environment and human health.

Which CNC machining cooling method should you choose?(图1)

  Solid Lubrication

  Strong metalworking fluids or industrial ointments can be used as a substitute for lower viscosity fluids. The use of mineral coolants used for flood cooling may contaminate water and soil. Since it requires less fluid than pan cooling, solid lubrication is more environmentally friendly and less costly. Unfortunately, lubricant delivery is less efficient than a constant spray system, and the friction lessness is worse, requiring regular application to the contact area. In addition, solid lubrication is not suitable for applications that require rapid removal of material fragments.

  Minimal Lubrication (MQL)

  MQL is a technique that tries to use as little cutting fluid as possible for machining. Because flood cooling uses a large amount of coolant, which increases the cost and environmental impact of the processing process, MQL tries to reduce these factors by determining the coolant demand according to the specific needs of the process. Therefore, the MQL process must be designed with higher accuracy because calculation errors may have terrible consequences for the machine or its operators.

  Compressed Air

  Minimizing the use of lubrication with MQL or solid lubrication can significantly reduce the amount of coolant required. Compressed air is a solution that eliminates any need for lubricants, thus solving disposal and variable cost issues. Using compressed air is probably the most cost-effective way to cool the CNC machining process and quickly remove chips. Unfortunately, the fact that compressed air cooling has no lubrication quality makes it difficult to apply to processes with high frictional strength.

  Cryogenic Cooling

  Liquid nitrogen can be injected into the tool to keep the milling surface cool throughout the process. There is evidence that, compared with pan cooling, this method can produce a smoother finished surface, and the life cycle of injection tools is longer than ordinary tools. Considering its relatively low variable cost, because it does not use a large amount of overflow coolant, it is a viable option for applications where external coolant cannot be used.

  Which method is best?

  No method is unilaterally superior to all other methods. Each method has advantages and disadvantages and can add value to the process according to the specific environment in which CNC milling is required. It is important to remember that choosing the correct method to avoid overheating must first consider the safety of the operator. Many jurisdictions have regulations on processing technology, which will undoubtedly affect the choice of cooling technology.

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