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EMULSIFIABLE OR SOLUBLE OILS

    To be most effective as a coolant, a liquid should have a high thermal conductivity, and a high heat of vaporization. Neither mineral oils nor blends of mineral oils are among the best fluids in these respects; consequently, they are not the most effective fluids for removing heat once it has been generated.

    Actually, water is about the most effective cooling medium known, but it has several obvious drawbacks: It promotes rust and has little or no value as a lubricant.

    Lubricating and rust-preventing properties, however, can be combined with water's excellent cooling proper5ties in what are called soluble oils, oils compounded so they will form stable emulsions when mixed with water.

    Soluble oils, more properly called emulsifiable oils (for they form emulsions not true solutions), are mineral oils containing a soap or soap-like material to make them "soluble" in water. These emulsifiers break the oil into minute particles and keep the particles dispersed in water for long periods of time.

    Because of their cooling/lubricating properties, emulsions are used for metalworking operations with high cutting speeds and low cutting pressures, accompanied by considerable heat generation.

    Manufacturers of cutting fluids supply emulsifiable oils and concentrates that the user prepares by mixing with water. Mixtures can range anywhere from one part oil in 100 parts water to 1 : 5 oil-water ratio. The leaner emulsions are used for lighter machining operations and where cooling is the essential requirement. lubricating properties and rust prevention increases with higher concentrations of oil.

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Last modified: October 02, 2001