How can we test the performance of cutting fluids for aluminum alloys?


Nowadays there is a great demand to use lightweight materials, such as aluminium alloys. One of their application possibilities is in the forming industry. In such demanding applications the use of a cutting fluid is essential to lubricate cutting edge and cool down the workpiece. Until now, to evaluate the efficiency of cutting fluids, ASTM D3233 tests on a Falex Pin-and-Vee Block tester were performed. However, this procedure was developed on hard tool steels and thus it is not appropriate for soft materials, such as aluminum alloys. In this application study and a modification of this procedure is proposed for testing of cutting fluids for soft materials and alloys.          


By recording the frictional torque, measured during a modified ASTM D3233 Procedure A (continuous load increase) test, performed in Falex Pin-and-Vee Block tester. Aluminum alloy Pins and/or hard tool steel Vee blocks with standardized finish were used to simulate the aluminum cutting emulsion performance. The Pin-and-Vee Block tester was updated, so that a cooling emulsion is directly sprayed into the contact. In this way similar conditions to the “actual” application are obtained. From these tests the torque curves were obtained, so as to evaluate the performance of cutting fluids in the transition between boundary and extreme pressure regimes.

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  • A modification for ASTM D3233 Procedure A was proposed for testing of cutting fluids on aluminum alloys.
  • Based on the torque curve, the efficiency of a cutting fluid can be evaluated.
  • The effect of additive on the performance of cutting fluids can be measured.
  • A ranking of cutting fluid is possible.

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