Ashleigh Pollen, Metalworking Specialist in the industrial segment at Fuchs Lubricants SA.

Industrial and manufacturing activity is on the uptick, with the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SASI) reporting that crude steel production increased 10% from June 2021 to May 2022. This is a clear indication of the importance of the engineering sector to the local economy, says Ashleigh Pollen, Metalworking Specialist in the industrial segment at Fuchs Lubricants SA.

Fuchs is a leading global lubricant manufacturer in all areas of metalworking, including machining, forming and hardening. Many of the processes used in these manufacturing technologies only run smoothly thanks to specially matched lubricant solutions. “Lubricants are arguably the most important aspect of the metalworking sector due to their main purpose of cooling and lubrication, corrosion protection and chip removal,” comments Ashleigh.

Corrosion protection

It is critical to select the correct lubricant for the correct application, as this is key to improved surface finish on materials, extended tool lifespan, reduced power consumption and improved chip transportation and reweld prevention, combined with effective corrosion protection. The latter is vital as corrosion is the single biggest cause of component rejection, impacting on downtime and productivity. 

Another side-effect of using an inferior or ill-fitted product is that it can potentially promote bacterial growth inside a sump, for example, which can have health and safety consequences for operators.

Stick to their knitting

Fuchs has a diverse product range developed specifically for the unique requirements of the metalworking sector. “We are one of the few companies that is totally lubricants and speciality products focused, whereas other market players tend to diversify into fuels and other general areas. This is a key differentiator for both us and our customers,” says David Briggs, Industrial and Speciality Products Manager.

The company has three main popular products in its ECOCOOL soluble oil range for metalworking. “It all depends on the application and the material being cut,” Ashleigh explains. ECOCOOL 600 NBF C is a low-mineral oil content, water-miscible semi-synthetic cutting fluid specially designed for multi-purpose machining applications on cast iron, carbon steel and ferrous alloys.

It forms a long-life, stable and finely dispersed clear translucent emulsion when mixed with water. The product is also free of nitrite, chlorine and phenols for enhanced sustainability. Applications are drilling, milling, reaming, tapping, boring and grinding operations where water miscible fluids are required.

General purpose

ECOCOOL BS 2 is a water miscible, milky type soluble oil with a high mineral oil level, ideal as a general-purpose water based cutting fluid. It is also used as a rolling fluid in the tube rolling industry. ECOCOOL CGF ND is a synthetic water miscible grinding fluid for iron metals, steels and chromium-nickel steels.

ECOCUT non-water-miscible cooling lubricants generate little oil mist with low evaporation loss, thereby reducing exposure at the workplace. In addition to a good cooling effect and high lubricating performance, the range features good rinsing properties and a high-quality surface finish.

Anticorit corrosion preventatives are highly economical and easy to use. These are available in a comprehensive portfolio for virtually all corrosion protection requirements. The Renocast range includes a variety of specially-designed mould release agents for concrete, block, roof tile and brick manufacture. Choosing the correct mould oil for a specific application is important to ensure a clean and easy release without disfiguring the concrete or formwork.

“With a total range of over 10 000 products, our team has the necessary expertise and experience to advise on product and application selection to maximise efficiency and reduce downtime,” Ashleigh concludes. 

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