Sawing with MQL

bandsawIn many shops, the saw is where the process of converting raw material to finished goods begins. This could be a horizontal metal band saw cutting bundles of tube or angle stock to length for weldments, or it could be a high-speed circular saw with automatic feed cutting bar stock to length for machined parts.


circular saw

Regardless of the operation, the saw is a workhorse of any shop and a critical step in material flow. It is not uncommon to see the saw tucked away in the back of the shop near raw material receiving. This is convenient for moving material to the saw and also convenient because the saw is usually not the cleanest area of the shop. Saw Blade Lube Systems from Unist can help reign in saw area messes by converting a saw from flood coolant to MQL.


Lubrication for Sawing

Cutting metal with a band saw or circular saw requires lubrication. Lubrication increases blade life and cut quality. Oftentimes, saw blades are cooled and lubricated with flood band saw cutting fluid that circulates over the blade. Metal cutting band saw coolant is there mainly to remove heat from the cut, and it provides a small amount of lubrication.

While doing its job, some of the coolant will inevitably end up on the floor; either by dripping off of the saw, getting flung by the blade, or running through tube stock and dripping from the end of the bundle. The pile of chips left by the saw is also soggy from the blade coolant, sticky, and hard to clean up. This makes routine maintenance of saw blades or parts difficult.

By switching from flood coolant to a Saw Blade Lube System from Unist, users can enjoy the same or even better blade life and cut quality, with the added benefit of a cleaner and neater shop. The water soluble coolant for the band saw is replaced with a high quality, renewable lubricant.

The gallons of cutting coolant are replaced with ounces of MQL oil and the saw produces clean cut parts. The lubricant reduces friction and heat buildup at the source instead of just dealing with the heat after the fact.

MQL for Band Saws

Both horizontal and vertical band saws can benefit from replacing band saw coolant with an MQL system. Nozzles can be arranged to aim the MQL lubricant directly at the teeth and gullet of the saw blade before the blade enters the cut. Secondary nozzles can be positioned to apply lubricant to the sides of the blade to keep the carbide guides cool. Reliable positive-displacement pumps supply fluid and air to the nozzle for accurate and repeatable results. Saw maintenance is reduced because the saw will be cleaner, and there are no coolant pumps, filters, disposal, or smells to deal with. Chips produced will also be nearly dry and easy to sweep or vacuum up. Simply top up the MQL reservoir occasionally and enjoy the benefits of your improved band saw process.

MQL for Circular Saws

Circular saws typically can be fitted with a three-outlet nozzle that directs the lubricant right into the teeth of the saw blade. This usually can be mounted in the saw guard. Users often find that cutting speed can be increased and that cut quality increases with MQL versus flood coolant. The amount of lubricant used can be easily adjusted and dialed in for your operation.

The Correct Lubricant for your Saw

Most conventional band saw coolants are water-soluble mixtures. This means they are designed to quench the heat rather than to prevent it. This also means that if the fluid does not have rust-inhibiting factors, the metal cutting saw coolant can leach between individual pieces in a bundle and cause rust and corrosion.

When converting a saw to MQL, high-quality MQL oil as a cutting fluid will provide the best results. Fluids can be specifically selected for cutting ferrous materials, aluminum, or for general-purposes. The Unist Coolube product line includes 2210EP with an extreme pressure additive specifically for ferrous materials. The extreme pressure additive is activated at the high cutting temperatures associated with cutting steel and lubricates even better as a result.

Unist Coolube 2210AL is specifically formulated for cutting aluminum and is the best choice for anyone cutting aluminum bar stock or extrusion profiles common to the fenestration or architectural markets. Unist Coolube 2210 is a general-purpose lubricant with great results across the board.

Whatever your sawing needs, if you are tired of hiding your saw in the back of the shop and want to improve your operations, contact Unist today to talk about trying MQL on your saw.