Document Type

Article - On Campus Only

Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to provide a practical review of metal working fluids and their implications to the machining practice. Despite their widespread use and applications, there are several scientific and economic factors that call for an investigation of current practices and development of new approaches. Design/methodology/approach - There are numerous methods that diverge from traditional "wet" machining, which move towards an environmentally friendly and cost effective machining process. This includes looking at both minimum quantity lubrication and dry machining as methods to reduce recurring costs, lower health care premiums associated to metalworking fluid exposure, and to minimize the environmental footprint attributed to machining. Findings - Traditional machine lubrication techniques are in use today despite a lack of scientific or economic evidence that they function efficiently. Depending on the machine type and material used, there are several possible methods that can minimize or eliminate metalworking fluids from the machining process. Practical implications - This paper provides a practical assessment of current industrial practices and offers opportunities for improvement from both an economic and an environmental perspective. Originality/value - This paper provides an overview of previously conducted research to suggest areas of improvement in manufacturing processes utilizing metalworking fluids.

Recommended Citation

Siniawski, Matthew, and Chris Bowman. "Metal Working Fluids: Finding Green in the Manufacturing Process." Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 61, no. 2, 2009, pp. 60-66. doi: 10.1108/00368790910940374.