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The Microbiology of Metalworking Fluid Systems

Biological activity within a coolant system needs to be kept to a bare minimum for your coolant to function properly.

Most bacteria enter the system through the water supply, but can enter via debris that is dumped into chip hoppers, conveyors, and even the sump itself. They also enter off the material, and build up in any coolant-related equipment, including those for coolant delivery.

Bacteria feed off the oil layer and consume carbons, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phospherous. A popluation of 8 bacterium can multiply into 1,032,000,000 in a 12 hour period, and a visible colony is composed of at least 2 billion bacteria!

Communication among your entire team will be important for awareness of how bacteria enter the system, develop into a biomass, and eventually degrade your coolant, plug filters, cause corrosion, and health and safety issues.

If your coolant sytem has a reoccurring problem with bacteria or even fungi, the following failure factors must be addressed, and remedy actions must be taken, to solve the problem:

• Low concentration > Increase and stabilize concentration
• Excessive tramp oils > Remove free oils
> Repair oil leaks
• Chips and sludge in sump > Filter coolant to at least 25µ
> Clean sump bottom
• Bacteria/Fungi persist > Lower dose of biocide/fungicide but increase frequency of use
> Change type of biocide/fungicide
Thousands of microbes in one gulp
Just one litre of seawater can contain more than 20,000 different types of bacteria, scientists find.




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Metalworking Fluid Maintenance