During shaping and cutting processes in the industry of metalworking, smoke, vapors and mists can arise due to using cooling lubricants. This happens on one hand mechanically as tools that are quickly rotating atomize the lubricant for cooling.
It occurs as well when cooling lubricant that has evaporated condenses again, when it touches hot surfaces and when open mounted, still work pieces that are hot can burden the ambient air with different emissions. Because of that, the second generation of oil mist separators has come about.
In general, any surfaces exposed to the cooling lubricant, for example polishing rags, work clothes or floors, should be considered sources of emission. The warmer each surface is the worse it could affect ambient air.
Smoke, vapors and cooling lubricant aerosols can enter the digestive tract, respiratory tract or skin of operators. This in turn can damage the body in many ways including inflammation of the respiratory tract or skin, damage to internal organs and carcinogenic reactions.
Generally, there are three ways cooling lubricant emissions can be reduced in the ambient air of the workplace.
Prevent oil vapors, oil smoke and emulsion mist from forming is one way to reduce the emission. In addition, capturing aerosol mists that are unpreventable with an oil mist separator and having adequate ventilation in the workplace.
Choosing the correct cooling lubricant can be crucial in preventing oil smoke, oil vapors and aerosol mists when working on machinery.
Often times a sufficient amount of lubricant is not used on the pieces that are being worked on or the wrong type of cooling lubricant is utilized.
In addition, the machine for processing the work piece as well as the oil mist separator needs to be regularly maintained. Wetted, hot work pieces need to be stored inside a closed container and should never be stored out in the open.
If at all possible, the machinery should also be enclosed completely to prevent any emissions from being released.
Having the right oil filter system design can be a very complex issue when dealing with emissions of cooling lubricants and should only be handled by those who are experts in the field.