The problem of oil mist in the mechanical and engineering industries

Oil mists are composed of micro particles of coolant suspended in the air..

This type of atmospheric pollutant is mainly found in the mechanical and engineering industry, where processes such as turning, milling, grinding, drawing, drilling, boring, shearing, threading, cold deformation of metal materials are the primary source.

The main causes of the oil mists are traced back to the sum of these two factors:

  • evaporation of coolant; in fact, during extrusion and metal removal, the tool or cutter comes into contact with the workpiece. The friction overheats them considerably causing the evaporation of coolant and the consequent formation of industrial fumes, oil mist and aerosol.
  • atomization of oil caused both by the high speed of the spindle/wheel or milling cutter and by the use of high pressure coolant pumps in the machine tool. The result of these two elements physically decomposes the fluids into particles, micro-dusts and micro-mists, so thin as to become volatility.

How oil mist forms in machine tools
Oil atomisation caused by both the high speed of the milling cutter

The problem of oil mists if they are not treated

The volatility of polluting particles such as industrial fume, oil mist and aerosol, be they solid or liquid, causes and creates various problems to companies, operators and machine tools.

First of all they have a negative impact on the healthy air and sanitary conditions of the operators, particularly in respiratory level, since particles smaller than 0.3 microns can reach the pulmonary alveoli, compromising the respiratory tract.

Not only that, in contact with the epidermis, they create skin irritations, dermatitis and redness.

From a purely productive point of view, the pollution in the workshop deriving from micro-dust and oil mist, considerably reduces the productivity of the plant and in particular the efficiency of the machine tools, since the stratification of pollutants affects the precision and tolerance of the measuring instruments, with the onerous consequence of having to increase maintenance interventions on the most sensitive and delicate components.

Dust, oil mist and aerosol, if not filtered and purified, make the floor slippery; the machine tool surfaces and walls, on which they are deposited, dirty.