Field of Research
Lubricoolant Supply Strategies
The main tasks of the lubricoolants are to cool and lubricate the cutting site and to facilitate chip removal. By carrying out these functions, modern lubricoolant systems make a substantial contribution to the high performance level of many manufacturing processes. Besides the technological advantages which the lubricoolants hold, their use, maintenance and disposal lead to high costs. Furthermore, they represent a considerable hazard to the people handling them as well as to the environment. One way of reducing the costs and problems associated with lubricoolants is to use minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) or to avoid the use of lubricoolants altogether and choose a dry cutting process. The aim of reducing the use of lubricoolants is to provide the process with only the lubricoolant volume that is technologically necessary. Secondary tasks of the lubricoolant, such as chip transport within the machine or cooling the chips must be solved using other measures which apply not only to the tool but also to the machine tool. In spite of the further development of lubricoolant strategies, tools, cutting materials and coatings, it is still unthinkable today not to use a lubricoolant in many machining tasks. If machining needs to be carried out wet, however, the use of lubricoolants needs to be designed as efficiently as possible. In order to increase productivity and process reliability in this context, the targeted supply of the lubricoolant to the cutting site under high pressure (high-pressure lubricoolant supply) represents a technology with great potential that may provide a basis for automated and cost-efficient production. With respect to the conservation of resources and energy efficiency, the use thereof is being critically examined to an increasing degree. Future topics will include the growing use of more environmentally-sound lubricoolant media, such as ester oils; the optimisation of lubricoolant supply, volume and pressure; an energy evaluation and optimisation of lubricoolant pumps and power systems; and alternative lubricoolant media and concepts. An example of a current trend is cryogenic cutting, which is one of the research topics at WZL for many years.