Handy tips on managing your metalworking fluids during a COVID-19 shutdown

If you’re stopping or scaling down production during the coronavirus crisis, here are some tips on how to manage your metalworking fluids and protect your machinery to make sure that you’re ready to restart quickly and trouble free.

Check for tramp oil contamination

This is easily observed as an oily layer on the fluid surface.

Remove the contamination using a dedicated skimmer or vacuum equipment.

Tip: Q8Oils can recommend and supply both fixed & portable tramp oil skimmers and separators.

Test your metalworking fluid

Measure the concentration using a refractometer and if required adjust to meet the concentration range recommended.

Check the pH level using pH paper indicator strips or a digital meter.

Tip: Q8Oils can supply refractometers and pH paper indicator strips.

Prevent bacterial contamination

Metalworking fluids that are not circulating can deteriorate in condition rendering the fluid unusable on return to production.

Where possible regularly run machines to allow the fluid to circulate, or alternatively install an oxygen purifier.

Consider a maintenance addition of broad-spectrum biocide to prevent the build-up of bacterial and fungal activity.

Test the metalworking fluid weekly using the dip-slide method to determine the presence of bacteria & fungus.

Tip: Q8Oils can supply dip slides, incubators, biocide, fungicide and aerators.

Aged metalworking fluids in a poor condition

Utilise downtime to clean out machines and dispose of used metalworking fluids.

Use a system cleaner to ensure optimum sump conditions for the new fluid charge. Your machine will be much cleaner when it is back up and running!

Tip: Check out the Q8Oils guide to effective machine cleaning procedure. Q8Oils can supply system cleaner.

Contact us for free advice and ancillary and equipment needs

Get in touch with your Q8Oils representative or our technical help line, we are here to help you.

All  countries – Telephone: +32 (0) 3247 3879 or Email: [email protected] 

UK – Telephone: 0113 236 5239 or Email: [email protected]

North America – Telephone: (+1) 212-532-3480 or Email: [email protected]

Italy – Telephone: (+39) 02 905951  or Email: [email protected] 

Matthew Bloomer

From our expert Matthew Bloomer

Matthew has been working for Q8Oils since 2008 and is an expert in Metalworking fluids, more specifically in biocides and microbiology - which can be explained by his background in chemistry.

Ask Matthew Bloomer



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