Why Machinists Need to Care about Their CNC Coolant

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines are essential for precision machining and manufacturing of high-quality parts in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and medical device manufacturing. CNC coolant plays a critical role in the machining process, regulating temperature and lubricating cutting tools to reduce heat and friction that can cause tool wear, breakage, and poor surface finish. To maintain the high-performance standards of these machines, machinists must ensure that their CNC coolant is properly maintained. 


What is CNC Coolant, and Why Is it Important?

CNC coolant is a fluid that cools and lubricates the cutting tools and workpieces during machine production. It helps to reduce the heat generated during cutting, prolong the life of the cutting tools, and improve the surface finish of the machined parts. The type of coolant used in CNC machining can be water-soluble, semi-synthetic, or synthetic coolants depending on the material being machined and the machining process used. 


Selecting the appropriate CNC coolant is essential for optimal performance. You must ensure the coolant you choose is right for the tool and the part being manufactured. The right coolant can lead to improved machining performance and a longer machine life. At the same time, the wrong one can result in equipment failure and product damage. 


Maintaining CNC Coolant for Longevity and Cost-Effectiveness

Proper maintenance of CNC coolant is essential for preventing tool wear, breakage, and poor finishes. Clean and well-maintained coolant improves machining performance, such as improved final finishes, higher cutting speeds, and longer tool life. In addition, by changing the coolant regularly, machinists can save money and prevent machine downtime by keeping corrosion and damage to the machine at bay, preventing the need for expensive repairs. 


CNC coolant that is not correctly maintained can also produce harmful fumes and pose health risks. 

To prevent adverse health effects and machine damage, machinists should:


  • Check the pH level of the CNC coolant weekly to ensure it is in the correct range. If the coolant is too alkaline or acidic, it can negatively impact its performance.
  • Keep the coolant clean and free from contaminants with appropriate filtration methods. Removing debris or chips from the cutting area is also necessary to keep the coolant clean and free from contaminants.
  • Consider adding a biocide to the coolant tank to limit bacterial contamination, especially in areas of high temperature or humidity, as these environments help bacteria grow.
  • Clean the coolant tank to remove the debris, contaminants, and bacteria that have managed to enter the system.
  • Replace the coolant on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s instructions or any time the pH or contaminant levels are unacceptable. This ensures the coolant remains effective and safe to work with.


Other Maintenance Practices for CNC Machines

In addition to monitoring and maintaining CNC coolant, machinists must follow other maintenance practices. This includes regular machine cleaning, lubrication, and replacing worn or damaged parts. Proper maintenance of the entire CNC machine can lead to better performance and increased machine life, ensuring the highest quality production of precision parts.


By following these best practices, machinists can increase efficiency and reduce overall costs. In addition, accurate MTS offers guidance on selecting the appropriate CNC coolant for your machining needs and further advice on its proper maintenance. Contact us today for all your coolant and equipment needs.