Greening Metalworking Fluids Purchasing Using Multicriteria Methodologies

Michael Plewa, Nandakishore Rajagopalan, Elizabeth D. Wagner

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


This toxicological research was conducted to aid in the development of a multicriteria decision-making tool to facilitate selection of functional yet greener and safer metalworking fluids (MWF). This research also satisfies a long-felt need of workers to understand the health risks associated with MWF and a desire to minimize such risks. Utilization of such a tool is expected to lead to improved MWF purchasing decisions through (i) data dependent decision making transparency, (ii) specific articulation and acknowledgment of the multiple criteria often involved in such choice, and (iii) built-in flexibility to reflect and incorporate site-specific preferences and constraints. The specific objectives of this project were: (i) identification of the key characteristics of MWFs that contribute to their utility, economics, environmental, and health and safety aspects; (ii) identification and evaluation of appropriate measures for the above characteristics; (iii) choice and evaluation of an appropriate decision making model to analyze and synthesize the above information; and (iv) development of a user-friendly format to present the end-results of such an analysis. We also intended to develop and test a transiently stable emulsion mixture for providing machining functionality, ease of maintenance, and a superior safety profile. Toxicity data collected on MWF components collected both through a literature search and through testing can guide the choice of components for developing the transiently stable emulsion. Twelve MWFs and 10 MWF components were evaluated for their chronic cytotoxicity using an in vitro CHO cell bioassay. For both the MWFs and the MWF components, the range of cytotoxicity was within standard toxic agents regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For the MWF classes there was an overall descending cytotoxicity rank order of MWFs of semi-synthetic, followed by soluble oil, followed by synthetic. For these MWF classes, the CHO cell cytotoxicity assay was highly correlated with in vivo pulmonary toxicity measurements in animal models. Our results indicate that for both the MWF and MWF components, a wide diversity of cytotoxicity is present. Our data may be used to select MWFs or MWF components that meet industry requirements and pose the lowest level of toxic hazard. The MWF rank order, from most cytotoxic to least cytotoxic, was Castrol 6510 > Castrol Clearedge 6536 > Alusol AU39 > Cimperial 1070 > Vita Edge > Castrol 6519 > TrimSol > TrimE 206nd > Eaton Hocut 763 > Hangsterfer's S506 > Syntilo 9904 > IRMCO Cutting Fluid Product A. The MWF component rank order, from most cytotoxic to least cytotoxic, was Atramide 202 > Alkaterg T-IV > Busan 77 > Mayfree 133 > Dover Maylube 112 > AMP95 > UCON EMPL-48 >Mayfree Sulperm HO > UCON 50-HB-6, Dover Klorfree 100.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChampaign, IL
PublisherIllinois Sustainable Technology Center
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Publication series

NameRR Series (Illinois Sustainable Technology Center)


  • Metalworking fluids -- Environmental aspects
  • Green purchasing
  • Sustainable purchasing
  • Environmentally preferable purchasing


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