Microlubrication in Metal Machining Operations

Machining Xcellence

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Spent metal removal fluid (cutting fluid, lubricant, coolant, etc.) is a significant waste stream from the metal fabrication industry. The quantity of waste generated and the cost of fluid purchases could be reduced by microlubrication (minimum quantity lubrication, mist lubrication) methods of fluid delivery. In microlubrication, a fine cutting fluid mist is used, rather than the traditional method of flooding the cutting tool - workpiece interface. The metal fabrication industry is concerned that the use of microlubrication might reduce tool life negatively impacting production and increasing manufacturing costs. The purpose of this research was to compare the performance (tool life) of cutting tools lubricated and cooled using microlubrication with that of cutting tools lubricated and cooled using traditional flood application. The performance difference identified is used to calculate and compare the economic impact of microlubrication versus flood application. Discussion is also presented comparing the effect of microlubrication and flood application on the cost of fluid purchased and disposal.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChampaign, IL
PublisherIllinois Waste Management and Research Center
StatePublished - Jul 2002

Publication series

NameRR Series (Waste Management and Research Center)


  • Metal-working lubricants -- Environmental aspects
  • Metal-work -- Pollution prevention
  • Machining -- Source reduction (Waste management)
  • Lubrication and lubricants -- Environmental aspects
  • Cutting machines -- Lubrication systems
  • Factory and trade waste -- Environmental aspects


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