How an oxygenator benefits your metalworking fluids
An oxyegenator benefits your shop in more ways than one. Aeration or oxygenation is the process of injecting air into your metalworking fluids coolant sump. Just as every aquarium has something making bubbles, so should every machine sump. And the reasons are the same.
Aerobic bacteria consume oxygen (O2) so that the levels of O2 will decrease, especially under floating oils. As the O2 level drops, anaerobic bacterial activity rises. And it is these anaerobic bacteria that eat your coolant.
Aquarium scientists say the optimal bubble diameter for gas-liquid transfer is 1/8” to 1/4”. After our testing, the air-diffuser we use on our oxygenators creates bubbles of just this size.
Using shop air pressure to blow big bubbles in your coolant is not recommended. We suggest using holes about 40 microns (about 2 mil) in diameter to get the best results. We encourage everyone to aerate their coolant at all times, in any way possible.
Some say their coolants don’t ‘like’ to have air injected into their metalworking fluids coolant sump. We consider this unlikely, mainly because of two reasons.
Air is something we breathe and are always exposed to
The very activity of a machine and coolant pump agitate and aerate coolant
Why not continue the process when the machine is idle because you can get the best results?
How Bacteria Change Gear
The greatest challenge we face in keeping your coolant flow performing at its peak operating characteristics isn’t chemical or physical. The challenge is biology – Mother Nature.
Extends coolant life by maintaining high oxygen levels
Prevents foul odors
What is Coolant?
Coolant, also known as metalworking fluids or metal removing fluids (MWF and MRF) is a complex soup of oil blended into water. Concentration rates are typically diluted with anywhere from a minimum of 80% to a maximum of 99% water, but data shows that it is usually used in the 5% range.
Coolant is used in metalworking to both cool and lubricate tools so their performance is better and they last longer. It also reduces possible damage to your machines.
Coolant is made to be worker and environmentally friendly. The problem is that coolant can go bad, like a stagnant pond. Coolant is also getting more expensive, both to buy and dispose as waste.
Oil oxygenators are critical to coolant maintenance, but so is education.
A few minutes of research could save you thousands of dollars a year.
The bacteria we’re fighting within the sump thrive best when their oxygen supply is gone. When the machine is shut down for the night, the pump stops circulating coolant, traces of tramp oil float to the surface, and the oxygen supply to the fluid is cut off. This is the best time for bacteria to grow.
Your coolant’s health is dependent upon whether it can “breathe”. Using an aeration device when the machine pump is shut down for hours is a simple, yet very effective method of keeping bacteria at bay and your coolant healthy.
The Oxygenator is inexpensive and similar to aquarium pumps. Zebra Skimmers integrated oil-rated tubing and diffusers that will not degrade in your coolant environment. Aeration inhibits bacterial growth conditions in metalworking coolant.
For sumps or tanks above 100 gallon, use the Zebra Circulation Pump or the air-powered Oxygenator for a better rate of flow.
Testimonials – Oxygenator
“Oxygenators are working great. My sumps are over two months old now and before they lasted only a couple of weeks!”
Precision Parts Center Puts the efficient Oxygenator™ to Work Controlling the Growth of Anaerobic Bacteria
Paul K, Owner of Precision Parts Center (Corpus Cristi, TX), wanted to take a preventative approach to help solve his coolant maintenance problems. He decided it was time to aerate his coolant because he wanted to increase its life.
Aeration improves a coolant’s ability to inhibit bacterial growth which is caused by static coolant sumps. To provide oxygen infused into the coolant, anaerobic bacteria have a much tougher time developing and causing slime formation.
The Zebra Oxygenator, an aeration device with sintered bronze diffuser fittings, helps solve the total volume of bacteria. This unit is available in a one-port or two-port diffuser configuration. It is operated by plugging it into the nearest 110v electrical outlet.
Paul had another dilemma because the electrical outlets on his Okuma machines did not function when the machine was shut down for the evening. So Paul, being a pioneer, decided to mount the Zebra Oxygenators onto the walls of the building and use the wall outlets as the electrical source. Then he would just have to drop in the tubing into the reservoir.
He was provided with the additional tubing he required for this setup at no charge (Zebra Skimmers encourages forward-thinking efforts) and ran the 50 foot diffuser tubing from the Oxygenators to his coolant sumps.
Paul and the machine shop operators are now pleased when they arrive for work on Monday morning. The space smells of fresh coolant. Not the rotten smells the stagnant coolant used to emanate before the installation of the aerators.
With Zebra’s guidance, Paul is also happy with the Z17 Muscle™ Coalescer. He purchased this in conjunction with the Oxygenators. It works wonders at removing his floating tramp oils and particulate matter that accumulate on each machine sump.
Precision Parts Center runs this coalescer unit for approximately a half-shift per machine daily to keep the integrity of the coolant lasting longer and above all improve its effectiveness.
For more information or to discuss your aeration needs, call our specialists now and let us help you optimize your machines to run at their peak performance!
Need help with something else? Our selection Zebra oil skimmers could be your answer to manage your tramp oil.
Lights out operations? Check out our automated coolant management system. Dazzle 2™
Since 1994 Zebra Skimmers has built a reputation for providing the metalworking industry and other industries with oil skimmers and metalworking fluid management systems. Our reputation is built on strong customer service, expert technical know-how and delivering American-made, American quality products and solutions.