Aligning Parts Cleaning with the Metalworking Process
Underperforming cleaning programs can result in defects, poor finishing quality.
Effectively cleaning machined or formed parts is a key step in all manufacturing processes—especially in surface finishing—but too often it is overlooked.
Underperformance of cleaning programs results in defects and poor quality of subsequent operations, yet over-cleaning is costly and wasteful. An effectively monitored and proactively managed parts cleaning process that delivers reliable performance is designed by addressing the substrates, machining operations and the fluids in the front end of the operation.
Based on the severity of the operations, the chemistry of machining fluids (coolants) and drawing and stamping fluids can vary greatly. Light-duty applications such as milling and drilling on cast iron or stamping lighter gauge stock can be performed with lower lubricity fluids. However, more severe operations, such as broaching, threading or gun drilling, with more challenging substrates such as stainless steels, hardened steels, Inconel or titanium, require high lubricity machining fluids. To obtain higher lubricity, formulators include higher levels of oil and often use extreme pressure additives to meet the performance requirements. Even straight oil cutting fluids include additives that affect the cleaning of the resulting parts.