The intricate characteristics of hardness, toughness, wear, and corrosion resistance of advanced materials such as Titanium, superalloys, and ceramics have made them ideal candidates for high-performance structural applications. These unique properties, on the other hand, also have made them very difficult to machine or abrasively grind. For example, their high hardness makes it necessary to use diamond tools to shape and fabricate them, and if the machining force is too high, surface cracks can render the materials unusable. The current machining technology uses very shallow penetration depths and relatively slow machining (or grinding) rates to reduce the potential of surface damage. This makes the machining process long and the cost of machining and abrasively grinding advanced materials is very high.
Tunable minimum quantity cooling lubrication (or Tunable MQCL™) was developed specifically to optimize machining and precision abrasive grinding processes involving extremely hard, abrasive, and low thermal conductivity materials such as superalloys and ceramics. Tunable MQCL employs infinitely-adjustable compositions of optional oil droplets and additives, compressed air, and carbon dioxide (CO2) coolant-lubricant. The benefits of Tunable MQCL include better machining economics, water and energy savings, and less waste by-products.