Water-miscible cooling lubricants are particularly susceptible to attack by microorganisms. To treat cooling lubricant baths infested with microorganisms, biocides, which can also have a human-toxic effect, must be added. As a rule, the addition is carried out discontinuously and in response to the regular tests according to DGUV rule 109-003.
Since the ability to cause an infection is very different in microorganisms and during mechanical processing there is an increased risk of microorganisms being taken up via the respiratory tract by coolant aerosols (BioStoffV §6), a minimization of the biological activity in the media should be aimed for. Furthermore, excessive infestation of microorganisms results in unforeseen bath changes and thus also the costs for unplanned cleaning in connection with production downtimes.
Since 2018, the Filtration Group GmbH has been conducting laboratory and field tests to avoid high bacterial counts – and thus extend the service life – by continuous post-conservation during application (“preventive conservation”). Based on these tests, a compact solution, FG Flow Guard, for the preservation of cooling lubricants was developed, which can considerably increase occupational safety, environmental protection and operational reliability. The FG Flow Guard is a compact bypass module ready for connection, consisting of a circulation pump, a maintenance cartridge and an integrated control unit. It can be easily installed at existing cooling lubricant tanks. With its innovative “preservation concept” it reliably protects people and machines, reduces maintenance and service costs.
FG Flow Guard uses solid granulate cartridges that can be handled like filters. When used properly, they protect employees from contact with liquid biocides and thus from health hazards. The active ingredients are added at fixed intervals several times a day. By the targeted release of defined biocide quantities, cooling lubricant baths can be preserved permanently and reliably. The addition of liquid chemicals can be dispensed with completely and thus also the associated expenditure for occupational safety measures.
The defined release of the active ingredients from the granulate by FG Flow Guard ensures that concentration peaks close to the applicable limit values are avoided. The combination of fast-acting biocides and fungicides, which are released once when the cartridge is changed, and continuously applied long-term active ingredients counteracts the formation of resistant germs.
The targeted biocide concentration is above the efficacy limit but well below the applicable limits, so that microbial activity in the bath can be inhibited reliably and in the long term. Depending on the actual active ingredient content in the bath and other influencing factors, the amount of active ingredient applied can be adjusted manually if necessary. In contrast to conventional shock conservation, the amount of biocide used is thus reduced and unforeseen downtimes are prevented by preventive conservation.
At the same time, an overdose of biocides is reliably avoided. FG Flow Guard thus enables a trouble-free operation of machine tools and significantly extends the service life of the media used, which contributes to a sustainable improvement of occupational safety, environmental protection and plant availability. After the optimized dosage of biocidal substances, the module circulates the emulsion even during plant downtimes at weekends and during breaks in operation, thus preventing the formation of anaerobic zones. Previous investigations and field tests have shown that FG Flow Guard is able to stabilize even media already heavily infested by microorganisms and to protect them in the long run against new infestation.
During the summer months, further field tests will be carried out in order to gain additional experience and ultimately to be able to provide the optimum solution in dialogue with the customers. Smart functions such as remote maintenance, automatic generation of demand for replacement cartridges can be integrated and can be activated during the pilot phase after consultation.
The compact retrofit module is suitable for all users of water-miscible cooling lubricants where the safety of their employees and sustainability are paramount. Finally, the bath life extension FG Flow Guard can also actively support cooling lubricant service providers in the maintenance of the media.
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