CNC coolant is a vital lubricant. The computer-aided machining industry uses it to keep CNC machines running smoothly and to reduce the risk of them overheating. CNC coolant can be dangerous if not handled with proper care. Its use can also present certain risks to workplace safety.
Learn more below about how to protect yourself, your staff, and your workplace from instability while optimizing production output.
Understanding the Basics of CNC Coolant
Before starting machining operations, it is important to understand the general basics of CNC coolant. Know the type of coolant used in your machining operation. Also know how fast it evaporates. This will help ensure that your workplace remains safe and productive.
It is essential to familiarize yourself with the various types of CNC coolant agents available on the market. This will help you determine which best meets your needs.
Some CNC Coolant Notes to Remember:
- Types of Coolant: There are two main types of CNC coolant – water-based and oil-based. Water-based coolants are the most common because they typically contain water mixed with additives. Some examples are lubricants, rust inhibitors, and biocides. Oil-based coolants are less common and typically contain petroleum-based oils or synthetic oils.
- Coolant Delivery Systems: CNC coolant can be delivered to the cutting tool and workpiece in a variety of ways. The most common delivery systems are flood coolant. This involves flooding the workpiece with coolant. Another popular way is with mist coolant. This way involves spraying a fine mist of coolant onto your cutting tool and workpiece.
- Benefits of Coolant: The use of coolant in CNC machining provides several benefits. For instance, improved tool life, reduced heat, and improved of your part quality. Coolant helps to reduce friction and heat, which can then lead to longer tool life and better surface finishes on your machined parts.
- Coolant Maintenance: Proper maintenance of CNC coolant is important to ensure that it remains safe and effective to use. This may include regular testing to make sure that your coolant is properly mixed and free of contaminants. Also remember to do regular cleaning and maintenance of your coolant delivery systems.
- Safety Considerations: The use of CNC coolant can present certain safety risks, including skin irritation, respiratory problems, and chemical burns. It is important to follow proper safety protocols like wearing personal protective equipment. Also ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated to minimize these risks.
Align with Strict Environmental Regulations
In any workplace, it is important to abide by strict environmental regulations and health standards. Most CNC coolants are non-toxic and environmentally safe, making them an excellent choice for businesses seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
However, some varieties can pose risks like emitting hazardous gasses into the air if not handled properly. Ensure that your company’s safety protocols align with any applicable laws and regulations in your industry.
Construct a Clear Maintenance Plan
Establish a clear maintenance plan to ensure workplace safety by implementing policies that promote the safe use, transport, and storage of CNC coolant. Develop checklists for employees to work from. Also label equipment correctly so that workers are aware of potential hazards and limitations associated with specific types of CNC coolant. Make especially sure that your workers inspect equipment regularly. And finally, make sure to dispose of wastewater and spilled materials quickly.
Automation of your coolant delivery system minimizes contact with your valuable workers and ensures a safer work environment. From shops with just a handful of CNC machines to multi-plant operations, reducing contact and ensuring proper mixing concentrations help everyone to stay safe.
Develop Safety Guidelines for Operators
To ensure the safety of your workplace and to optimize production, operators should be adequately trained on the risks associated with handling CNC coolant. This includes instructing them on proper disposal methods, ensuring all spill kits and personal protective equipment is readily available.
Also make sure you establish clear operating procedures for equipment use. This way, workers will be more aware of the environmental and safety risks associated with CNC coolant, helping to reduce workplace accidents.
Educate Employees on CNC Coolant Risks
It’s essential that all employees understand the risks associated with CNC coolant. While many of these risks are relatively minor, some can really have a more serious impact on health and safety.
Therefore, properly educate your workers on the potential dangers of working with CNC coolant, as well as safety protocols they should follow to stay safe in the workplace.
Additionally, operators should always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when handling CNC coolant to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Tips for Navigating the Risks of CNC Coolant and Workplace Safety
- Use the Right Type of Coolant. Different types of coolants are designed for specific applications. It’s important to choose the right type of coolant for the job. Using the wrong type can certainly lead to issues such as skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even chemical burns.
- Provide Adequate Ventilation. Proper ventilation is important to reduce the risk of exposure to coolant mist and fumes. Basically, make sure that your workspace is well-ventilated and that all machinery is properly enclosed to prevent coolant mist from escaping.
- Wear Protective Equipment. Operators should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including gloves, safety glasses, and respirators, when working with or around coolant. This will help to reduce the risk of exposure to coolant mist and fumes.
- Proper Handling and Storage. Remember to store and handle your coolant in accordance with your manufacturer’s instructions. This includes using appropriate storage containers, making sure containers are labeled correctly, and avoiding contact with skin and eyes.
- Regular Maintenance and Inspection. Regular maintenance and inspection of coolant systems and machinery is important. This is to ensure that everything is functioning properly and to identify potential safety hazards. Inspections can include checking coolant levels and flow rates, inspecting hoses and connections, and looking for signs of coolant leaks.
By following these tips, you can help to navigate the risks of CNC coolant and workplace safety. Additionally, proper use and maintenance of coolant, along with appropriate safety measures, can help to ensure safe and effective CNC machining operations.
Remember that safety in the workplace is always a number 1 priority and to seek guidance from safety professionals if you have any concerns.
About Zebra Skimmers:
Our mission has always been to provide the metal working industry with the oil skimmers and metalworking fluid management systems they need to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. Innovative and affordable solutions have gained us many accolades. Our continued growth is due in no small part to our excellent customer service… Not to mention our satisfaction guarantees and the performance of our tools.
Among our diverse options of oil skimmers and metal working fluid management systems, you can expect to find:
- Coolant management equipment, which includes coolant mixers, proportioning pumps, and coolant automation systems to mix and deliver fluid solutions at the desired concentrations.
- Industrial oil skimmers, including tramp oil belt skimmers, disk skimmers, tube oil skimmers, and individual sump coalescers for the removal of surface and tramp oils from fluids.
- Aeration or circulation equipment and sump odor control tablets to control fluid odor
- Industrial fluid monitoring equipment, including brix refractometers to verify fluid solution concentrations, pH test strips and water hardness testing sticks.