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Workcell Systems, Inc.

P.O. Box 1645

Highland Park, IL 60035

TEL: 847-579-0595

FAX: 847-579-0517

E-mail us: info@workcellsystems.com


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News You Can Use

No. 10

Machine Tool Sump Odors

The Problem

If your machine tools are using water-based coolants, soluble oil, semi-synthetic, synthetic, then you’ve probably experienced foul odors emanating from the coolant sump. It’s especially unpleasant after the machine tool has been inactive for a time – overnight, “Monday Morning Stink”, etc. What’s the cause – how to eliminate it?

The bad smell actually consists of a mixture of gases, primarily hydrogen sulfide, that are part of the body wastes of bacteria and other single-celled organisms that are actively growing in the coolant. The organic hydrocarbons in the metalworking fluid provide a rich source of nutrients and the warm, moist conditions an ideal growing environment for these “bugs.” A layer of oil floating on the fluid surface further encourages the anaerobic growth of these critters.

There’s more bad here than just the smell. Since the organisms are using some of the ingredients of the metalworking fluid as “food”, the lubricity of the coolant will be reduced and the machining quality and speed will be affected. The waste products from the bacteria also lower the pH of the coolant (increase its acidity) which can result in corrosion and premature wear of carbide tooling. To make matters worse, the bacteria, yeast, algae, etc. in the fluid can cause skin rashes and dermatitis in individuals that are sensitive or allergic.

The Solution

Traditionally, the addition of chlorine-releasing compounds or bactericides to the coolant has been used to attempt to control the growth of these organisms. The problem is that unless the chemicals are added on a regular basis they are only marginally effective. Additionally, since these products are toxic by nature, they can aggravate the allergic reaction in those individuals that are susceptible. Other methods rely on the injection of ozone or treatment with high intensity UV light to kill the bacteria. These methods promote oxidation and, thus, alter the chemistry and shorten the life of the metalworking fluid.

Workcell Systems has developed an advanced design fluid management system that effectively maintains the condition of the coolant in a machine tool and extends its useful life. Using a combination of particulate filtration, tramp oil removal, aeration and treatment with the exclusive BioZyne™ filter cartridge, odors are neutralized, the performance of the metalworking fluid is maintained over its extended life and the growth of bacteria, algae and other organisms is effectively suppressed – all without adding chemicals or other harmful materials.

Contact Workcell Systems today to get additional information or a quote on the advanced design fluid maintenance systems.

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