Introduction to MQL

Various conventional cutting fluids used for different machining processes are considered to be hazardous for environment as well as human beings as they causes severe effects. There are many commercially available cutting fluids that contain organic sulphur, chlorine, nitrite etc that are harmful to human body and environment. Toxicity of cutting fluids causes harm to the human body, machine tools working environment etc.
The environmental pollution resulted from cutting fluid include following two aspects :
1. Volatization, the erratic leakage, spatter of cutting fluid during the cutting process lead to a drastic environmental deterioration and severely affect the safety of production.
2. Mineral oil based cutting fluid has poor biodegradability, and will remain in water and soil for a long time, which causes contamination to lakes, rivers, oceans and underground water and hence aquatic life completely distracts.
This has lead the researchers to develop new cutting fluids/ new techniques that will overcome the disadvantages of conventional cutting fluids. In response to this, researchers have developed a new lubrication system called Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL).

What is MQL ?

MQL stands for Minimum Quantity Lubrication. It is also known as NDM which stands for Near Dry Machining. As the name suggests, in MQL system very low amount of lubricant oil is used for lubrication.
In MQL system, lubricating oil used is 10,000 times less that the conventional lubricating system. From this, you will get that the use of lubricating oil used in MQL system is reduced to too much low amount.
It is also called as Near Dry Machining because the chips formed after machining process contains very much low amount of lubricating oil in it. Hence it reduces the recycling cost of the chips and also gives good quality of chips improving the surface finish of the workpiece.
In MQL system, the interface between the tool and the workpiece is coated with high quality lubricating oil which is delivered with high atomized spray. Hence during machining process, the heat generated is mostly carried away by the chip formed increasing the tool life, surface finish, chip thickness etc.
Various experiments were carried out to compare the study of Conventional lubrication system and MQL. The results showed that the surface finish obtained by use of MQL system was comparatively better than the conventional lubricating system.
It also improved the tool life by using high quality lubricating oil which reduced the cutting temperature during machining operations.

Advantages of MQL System :

  • MQL system is environmental friendly lubricating system.
  • Minimum volume of lubricating oil is used.
  • Increased cutting speed.
  • Improved chip evacuation.
  • No disposal and recycling of lubricating oil is required.
  • It is more efficient as compared to conventional lubrication system.
  • Most important, it is clean in operation, i.e. unlike flooding type lubrication technique, this system maintains cleanliness in workshop.

Sujit Kadus

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