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13/07/2021 News

FOLIA metalworking solution improves factory air quality

Background Lubrication Limited has been an authorised distributor of products from the Lubricants Division of Total UK, part of Total Energies, since it was founded in 2001.

Lubrication Limited supplies a wide variety of lubricants, greases and oils for all industries.

 

Challenge
Nigel Hall, managing director at Lubrication Limited, had been consulting one of his clients – a machinery parts manufacturer in the West Midlands – on how to eliminate fumes and smoke from their manufacturing facility and production processes.

The customer carries out a range of machining applications including vertical and horizontal turning, milling and boring, using several materials including manganese steel, carbon, cast white chromium iron, martensitic alloy steel, and bronze.

Despite having fume extractors on some machines, the set-up was not very effective, so the customer was considering making a significant investment in a better solution. In addition to being a major investment in terms of installation, such a system would dispense smoke into the atmosphere, which Nigel recommended they should avoid.

Solution
Nigel recommended FOLIA, a metalworking solution Total UK introduced to the UK market in 2019.

Based on bio-sourced polymer technology and free of mineral oils and solvents, FOLIA from Total supports health and safety compliance.

Initially, Nigel and his team filled two lathes and two brand new vertical machining centres, at around 700 litres capacity each, with FOLIA.

Concentration and strength
Because of FOLIA’s solubility, the concentration used was between 7 and 8%, with a low top-up rate of around 1.8% in order to maintain the concentration in the tanks at around 8%. Nigel explained: “The top-up rate would be up to 3% with alternative coolants, so although FOLIA is a premium product, it is more economical in terms of usage.”

FOLIA will not mix with the slideway lubricant, and although it is still present, it is rejected to the surface of the coolant, which can be skimmed off, unlike with many other products. 

Lubrication Limited now monitors the coolant on a weekly basis and reports are provided to management detailing the appearance, concentration, pH, bacteria, fungus and mould, temperature, the degree of tramp oil and overall cleanliness.

 

Results
After the first phase of the project, the customer carried out an evaluation to understand how FOLIA had performed.

Nigel said: “They quickly discovered that FOLIA B7000 does not produce any visible smoke or fumes. Based on the results, we were given the go ahead to take on the rest of the workshop, which had been filled with coolant from a competitor. It was creating a lot of smoke because even though it was a water-based product, the emulsion contained mineral oil which creates fumes. Because these traditional semi-synthetic products tend to absorb other lubricants from the machinery and slideways, the customer had found themselves in a big sticky and smoky mess.

“Once we cleaned everything up and replaced the coolant with FOLIA, the workshop environment was dramatically improved. The operator acceptability was excellent; they loved the FOLIA coolant because it doesn't smoke, they could see what they were doing, there was no rusting on the machines, no bacteriological attack, no fungus and no odour. It has been universally accepted as being a great coolant.”

Due to FOLIA’s concentration and its high evaporation resistance, the customer is using around 30% less coolant, as well as enjoying a fume-free atmosphere, good finish quality, greater coolant lifespan and improved productivity.

“The workshop is clear of smoke even when at full production. FOLIA B7000 is the single most important technological advancement in terms of coolant formulation and health and safety in the last 30 years,” Nigel concluded.

For further information about FOLIA, visit: https://services.totalenergies.uk/business-products/industrial-lubricants/metalworking/folia