Minimum-quantity lubrication (MQL)

General information:
By minimum-quantity lubrication, we mean the cooling of machining processes with very small amounts of coolant-lubricant. In this, it is important that the coolant-lubricant is conveyed directly to the point of contact between tool and workpiece in order to reduce the generation of heat by friction there. Even with repeated tool changes, the coolant-lubricant must be dosed and transported to the tool with the highest possible degree of process safety.
The term minimum-quantity lubrication applies when a quantity of 5 to 50 ml/h of the MQL medium is consumed, air is used as a carrier medium. This technique is a redeveloped version of wet machining where the machining area is flooded with coolant-lubricant. Another technique is dry machining which is done completely without coolant-lubricant.

Different MQL systems:
Generally, we make a distinction between external and internal MQL systems:

  • With external supply systems, the aerosol containing the oil is sprayed onto the point of machining through a jet installed in the machining space of the machine tool. No special holders or tools are needed.
  • With internal supply systems, the MQL medium is conveyed through a rotary transmission, the work spindle, the tool holder and the tool itself, directly to the cutting edge of the tool. For such systems, special holders with a straight feed-through of the MQL medium for perfect flow are necessary. What is also needed are tools specially designed for MQL, with a transfer chamfer adjusted to the holder and with optimised coolant-lubricant outlets.

With the internal supply systems, we make a further distinction between 1-channel MQL systems and 2-channel MQL systems:

  • In a 1-channel MQL system, the aerosol is generated in the MQL device before it enters into the machine spindle, and is then conducted through the work spindle and the clamping system to the point where it is needed.
  • In a 2-channel MQL system, oil and air are conducted through the spindle separately, the mixing of the two media is done only at the point where they enter the tool holder.

1-channel MQL system

2-channel MQL system

  1. Rotary transmission
  2. Work spindle
  3. MQL medium lance
  4. Transfer unit
  5. Tool holder
  6. Tool

The tool holders:
Tool holders for minimum-quantity lubrication must not only provide safe clamping for the tool, but must also permit unhindered, loss-free and free-flow through-feed of the aerosol. In 2-channel MQL systems, it is also necessary to produce the mix of oil and air during the transfer from the spindle to the shank. These challenges have lead to the design of special quick-change and collet holders which meet the requirements of the different MQL systems. Additionally, several company standards and the standard E DIN 69090 were established for a clear specification of the point of transfer from spindle to tool holder. Our EMUGE holders, needless to say, meet all the requirements of these standards, too.
In order to avoid dead spaces and oil clogs, EMUGE offers also the suitable tools for minimum-quantity lubrication. With their detailed adjustment to the holders, an optimised transfer from tool holder to tool can be guaranteed.

The following tool holders are available:
1. KSN/MQL:

These quick-change holders are equipped with length compensation on tension and compression, with the EMUGE patented pressure-point mechanism and the proven front release. In addition, a spring-loaded tube guarantees a disturbance-free feed-through of the aerosol. This same tube also provides the permanent transfer of the aerosol from the tool holder to the tool. As a complement, EMUGE offers adapters type EM/MQL which provide a sealing surface between quick-change holder and quick-change adapter. This sealing surface is especially helpful in the machining of cast materials and in “overhead” machining situations.

2. Softsynchro®/MMS:
These collet holders are equipped with the well-known minimal length compensation with separate transfer of torque and axial force, see also chapter Rigid Tapping. Again, there is an optimised feed-through for perfect flow ensured by a spring-loaded tube. This tube is always in firm contact with the end of the tool shank due to the spring pressure, and guarantees loss-free transfer.

 
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