Cutting Fluid: Definition, Purpose, Properties, Types, Applications, and Selection [With PDF]

Hello readers, this is Saswata again came with a new article named Cutting Fluid, in this article, I will discuss the Properties, Purposes, types, and Applications of a Coolant or cutting fluid.

So let’s dive into the article.

cutting fluid

What is Cutting Fluid?

Cutting fluid also name as Coolant or lubricant is used for improving the cutting condition and also the tool life. It can be in liquid as well as gaseous form. 

Now the question comes of your mind what is the purpose of Cutting Fluid? So let’s see

Purpose of Cutting Fluid:

The cutting fluid or coolant used for various purposes, some of these are listed below:

#1 Used to Cool the Tool:

With the help of cutting fluid, we can decrease the friction between the tool and the workpiece as also we can minimize the heat during the cutting operation. By doing this we see an increase in tool life, we get a good surface finish and also we can prevent the metallurgical damage.

#2 Used for Lubrication:

As I already said it is used for lubricating purposes, the help cutting fluid chips can easily be removed from the workpiece.

#3 Used to Decrease Friction:

Collant is used to decrease friction by doing this we can restrict the heat generation hence less power is consumed that increases the tool life.

#4 Restrict Thermal Distortion:

By using cutting fluid we can restrict the change of properties of the material because of heat.

#5 Used as Cleaner:

Coolant or cutting fluid is used as a washing agent with the help of cutting fluid we can clear the operation area if there is dust inside the cutting area that results in uneven cutting that’s why we need to clean the cutting area.

#6 Some Other Benefits of Using Cutting Fluid:

  • It is used to get a good surface finish.
  • It reduces the tool wear.

Properties of Cutting Fluid:

To perform the above-mentioned things a cutting fluid have some particular properties, those properties are:

  • A cutting fluid should have a low viscosity so that it can easily flow above the workpiece.
  • It should have a high flash point so that it can be used at high temperatures.
  • It should stable at high temperatures.
  • It should have a non-foaming tendency.
  • It should have a high heat absorption rate so that during cutting operation it can easily absorb the generated heat.
  • It should have a good lubricating property to reduce the friction between tool and workpiece and chips can easily get out from the workpiece.
  • Coolant should not react chemically, it has to be chemically active in nature.
  • It should have odourless to avoid any bad smell even at higher temperatures.
  • It should be transparent in a property so that the operator can easily see the cutting area.
  • It should be harmless to the operator.

Types of Cutting Fluid:

We can categorize a cutting fluid into 4 types and those are:

  • Soluble Oil
  • Cutting oil
  • Synthetic Coolants
  • Solid Lubricants

#1 Soluble Oil:

Soluble oil is a mixture of water, mineral oil and coupling agents. Generally, we use soap as a coupling agent.

Insoluble oil, an emulsion of mineral oil in water is used at the ratio of 1:10 to 1:100 depending on the operation we are performing.

In Lathe operation, drilling operation, shaping operation we use this type of cutting fluid.

#2 Cutting Oil:

It is a mixture of mineral oil and fatty oil. It is mainly used in hand cutting machinery. It can be used as a coolant as well as a lubricant for Low cutting and high cutting rates respectively.

#3 Synthetic Coolant:

As the name suggests synthetic that means it contains zero mineral oil, it has a higher cooling rate. Generally, this type of coolant is used in grinding operations.

#4 Solid Lubricant:

Solid lubricant means it is in the solid phase, soap bar, molybdenum disulfide, graphite, the wax stick can be used as solid lubricants 

Cutting Fluid Applications:

Cutting fluid can be used in different purposes and those are:

  • As a Coolant
    • Used to cool the cutting tool, chip, and job.
  • As a Lubricant
    • Used for easier movement of the tool on job and also reduce the cutting force.
  • Used as Lubricant and Coolant
    • Cutting fluid can be also used for coolant and lubrication purposes like Fatty Oil.
  • As a Flashing Action
    • To wash off chips, to get a better surface finish

Selection of Cutting Fluid:

So now let see how to select a cutting fluid for some particular operation:

  • The selection of Cutting fluid mainly depends on the job material along with tool material.
  • It also depends on which kind of operation do you performed is it drilling? or thread cutting or anything else.
  • And last but not least it depends on the cooling effect.

Here’s a list of material along with the cutting fluid you should use on these materials:

CI, BrassDry Fluid
SteelCutting oil or Cutting compound
High speed steel waterless cutting fluids
Hard Steel, Bronze Mineral Oil

A Detailed Video Lesson by NPTEL on Cutting Fluid:

So this is all about cutting Fluid, I hope you liked my article, mainly these are some important factors you should remember on this topic, now I wanna hear from you, feel free to comment down below your queries and thoughts regarding this articles, I will love to see those on the comment section, and moreover do share this articles on your favorite social media, and be a part of spreading knowledge!


Why we use Cutting Fluid?

We use cutting fluids to minimize the heat generation rate and also for lubrication purposes.

What are the types of cutting fluids?

We can categorize a cutting fluid into 4 types and those are:
1. Soluble Oil
2. Cutting oil
3. Synthetic Coolants
4. Solid Lubricants

Is coolant a lubricant?

Yes, a coolant can be used as a lubricant for metal cutting purposes.
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Anup Kumar Dey

A Mechanical Engineer with 19 years of working experience in various renowned MNCs.

One thought on “Cutting Fluid: Definition, Purpose, Properties, Types, Applications, and Selection [With PDF]

  1. the point you mentioned about the” properties of cutting fluids”
    the 7th point: Coolant should not react chemically, it has to be chemically active in nature.
    there is a typo, it should be chemically inactive in nature
    otherwise, your content is top notch
    nice work

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