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Author Topic: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum  (Read 14653 times)

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Offline kolias

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Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« on: September 23, 2012, 05:07:00 PM »
I will be cutting Aluminum for hobby use and probably I will never go more than 1/16” per pass with a feed rate of 10-15”/min. Should I use a cooling fluid for the end mill and if yes what kind?

I have seen others use from cooking oil to more expensive specialty cooling fluids for Aluminum and I wonder which one to use
Nicolas
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 10:42:32 AM »
Not sure this one is placed right but a good discussion topic just the same. I think 10 guys will give you 10 differeent answers as this is generally a trial and error process that you can take some suggestions and come to your own conclusions once you play around with some products.

First ask yourself do I want to squirt (bottle method), flood (pump) or mist (air & coolant mixed) the coolant onto the tool. The fact that you know your cutting aluminum helps narrow things down a bit. I have been partial to the Tap Magic products for the squirt method. They have different fluids for different metals. Do some searches here, the "CNC Zone" and some vendors like Enco and MSC. You find plenty of info to guide you along. One thing I noticed with a flood, snythetic water soluable from Enco is that it worked fine but its kind of sticky. When then machine sat afterward I had to oil things up a bit. Corrosion resistance was fine I was alittle put off by the sticky property. Maybe my ratio of water to fluid was off. Its a blue looking liquid. May do better with a water/oil mix.

Robert

Offline kolias

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Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 02:04:42 PM »
Thank you Robert

I have searched many places on this subject and you are right, there is not a simple answer. I have a small pump controlled with a momentary switch and a manual valve at the outlet and was planing to squirt a few drops of vegetable oil once in a while. As I said I don’t plan to hog material out in one pass so I think a few drops of cooking oil will be fine.

I know about Tap Magic and other commercial liquids but I think they are too expensive for my needs. I thought someone on this forum may have come up with a simple solution for simple cuts
Nicolas
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 02:20:22 PM »
The only downside/s to a vegatable product might be its cooling properties/ its capacity to carry heat away, its ability to reduce friction and the need for a biocide so you don't get growth. Other than that I think it would work OK. Not a big investment so give it a test. Your machine might smell like fry fries however, lol.

Robert
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 01:10:29 PM »
I have been using WD40.  I give a quick shot and it works well. Home depot has it by the gallon for around $17.  Kerosene has also been used effectively and is much cheaper.  I cut parts out of 1/4" 6061 plate and do three passes with a 1/8" end mill..  If you are using 4000 series aluminum, then you REALLY need to keep on top of the cutting fluid or the cutter will gum up.

Offline kolias

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Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 02:42:47 PM »
My Aluminum it is 6061 and so I will first try the oil and then the WD40

Thanks for the help
Nicolas
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 06:44:21 AM »
i have used crisco shortening.  it is paste and stays where you put it.  but if you dont clean it up, it is organic and can decay creating a slightly rotten odor. i have also used wd40, crc and the like, work good.  i finally settled on walmarts tech lube, a wd40 generic, very cheap, doesnt lubricate anywhere near as well as the wd but used solely as a cutting fluid is fine.  i have heard others say for a nice finish on alum make the final pass using a squirt bottle of isopropyl alcohol, just heresay, i have not tried it.
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 10:29:06 AM »
I like to use parafin on ally. WD40 works a treat but is pretty expensive if you have to keep buying cans of it.
Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 12:07:39 PM »
Hi, I cut lots of small aluminum parts, some with 11 to 12 pockets per piece. I started out using air and got really tired of all the chips all over. Then went to mist and still had to fight the chips. Finlay, i went to flood cooling, WOW what a difference! not only do you get superior cooloing, but chip removal is almost automatic. Yes you have to figure out how to contane it, but with alittle effort you can do it .
Now to the question, stay away from oil, oil of any kind, it gunks up every thing. Use a water based product, like Kool Mist. I use Kool Mist 77, you can get at almost every place that sells tooling, it cost abot $30.00 a gallon, but you can make 33 to 35 gallons of coolent with that.And it works great, it's safe for the enviorment and wont hurt you if you get it on you. But for me the best part besides cooling the tool and chip removal is that it will not rust any of your other metal parts.

Offline Sam

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Re: Cutting Fluid for Aluminum
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 08:53:29 PM »
Differnt strokes fer differnt folks I guess. This is one of those "ask 10 people, get 10 different answers" kinda question. Personally i don't like WD. It really does not do a good job keeping the aluminum from building up on the tool.  Kero does a better job than WD. Gotta watch who ya tell that to, though. Thought one fella was gonna have a heart attack or call the fire chief the last time kero was mentioned. I hate koolmist on aluminum. Absolutely will not touch the stuff when cutting aluminum. I ALWAYS use oil based. Cimcool Cimperial 1060 is really good stuff. It can get a bit rank and nasty though if you don't manage it right. Been using Ruslick WS-5050 for a while now. Seems really nice, easy to use, and its not as nasty, and more forgiving than Cimcool. A gallon is around $30 I think.
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