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Odor-killing chlorides: new coolant converting technology uses science to beat odor.

Coolants are necessary evils in manufacturing. While keeping processes cool enough to run, they can develop bacteria and odors that make otherwise effective coolants useless. Biocides can be used to lessen odors, but they eventually lose their effectiveness and constantly need to be replenished. The overuse of biocides can lead to build-up of byproducts that are harmful to users.

One coolant converter is fighting smelly sumps with a new technology that uses a chemical polymer. The HaloFresh CoolantXtender system uses porous beads that are coated with the polymer, part of a new class of compounds called N-halamines that harness halogens such as chlorine or bromine on solid surfaces. The beads are enclosed in a cartridge in the Coolant Xtender hardware and coolant circulates through it. The beads are charged with chlorine atoms and the reaction of the contaminants in coolants with the chlorine results in the neutralization of odor-causing microbes.

The polymer attacks contaminants as they flow over the bead surfaces. The process oxidizes foul-smelling compounds, converting them to odor-free, harmless by-products called chloride ions. As the chloride ions are no longer attached to the polymer, they diffuse. Only small amounts of chlorides are necessary to convert contaminants to non-hazardous substances.

Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic waste product of microbes that is often found in polluted coolant. According to the company, circulating hydrogen sulfide-laden coolant over HaloFresh beads destroys the contaminant and odors in hours.

Using conventional liquid bleach does not have the same effect, as the N-halamine chlorine does not interact with masses of microbes that are attached to the metal surfaces of sumps and tool systems. Those masses rapidly use up conventional bleaches when they are added to a system without removing much odor. Even when microbial masses are removed, the odor remains in the cleaned coolant.

For large and small sumps

The HaloSource product line includes off-line units that attach permanently to machining centers. The CX100AP is designed for use with sumps up to 100 gallons and the CX250AP can treat larger sumps up to 250 gallons. The CX-250P model is a portable off-line system that can be used on multiple machines. The systems are safe to use with any water-miscible coolant and coolant-delivery method.

Coolant is drawn from the coolant sump through a 30-mesh intake strainer to keep large debris from entering the system. This intake is positioned in the central part of the sump to avoid both tramp oil and sediments. Coolant travels through a 4 to 6 gpm electric or pneumatic pump. The coolant passes to the halogen treatment chamber, loaded with HaloFresh bead packs. The treatment chamber makes it easier to replace the HaloFresh bead packs, and can contain varying amounts of bead packs depending on the fluid volume and machining system. To complete the process, the coolant passes out of the treatment chamber and returns to the coolant sump or is routed to various other areas based on the customer's needs. The HaloFresh-treated waste liquid is safe for routine disposal.

Tooling 2000, the manufacturer of Visiport spin windows, uses the Coolant Xtender system. The spin window allows machine operators to look inside machine enclosures, even when using coolant. "Our fluids have absolutely no odor and the system actually cleans the inside of the machines," says Don Stockham, quality assurance manager for the Seattle-based company. "We've extended our daily maintenance routine into a weekly practice and that's cut down eight hours of maintenance time a week for my crew." Vanson Halosource, 407tp-221
 (currently) (w/ Coolant INVESTMENT INVESTMENT
 Xtender) (200 gallon sump) (100 gallon sump)

 12 6 170% 251%
 8 4 80% 134%
 6 3 35% 76%

Factors used to calculate these ROI scenarios include cutting fluid
purchase and disposal costs, labor costs, and loss of revenue from
machine maintenance and downtime.
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Title Annotation:fluid management
Author:Tambascio, Sara
Publication:Tooling & Production
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Previous Article:Turning tough metals at Hy-Grade Value: VTC reduces cycle time by 85%.
Next Article:Simulation ensures machining accuracy: saves programming time, frees up machines.

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