The Technical University of Liberec and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg investigated the influence of cooling lubricants on the surface roughness and energy efficiency of cutting machine tools. After summarizing the achieved experimental results, the authors conclude that cooling lubricants extensively influence the cutting temperature, cutting forces and energy consumption. Also, it is recognizable that cooling lubricants affect the cutting tools lifetime and the workpiece surface quality as well. Furthermore, costs of these cooling lubricants and the related environmental burden need to be considered. A current trend is to reduce the amount of lubricants that are used, e.g., when the Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) technique is applied. The lubricant or process liquid is thereby transported by the compressed air in the form of an aerosol to the contact area between the tool and workpiece. The cutting process was monitored during testing by the three following techniques: lubricant-free cutting, cutting with the use of a lubricant with the MQL technique, and only utilizing finish-turning and finish-face milling. The research allowed the authors to monitor the cutting power and mark the achieved surface quality in relation to the electrical power consumption of the cutting machine. In conclusions, the coherence between energy efficiency of the cutting machine and the workpiece surface quality regarding the used cooling lubricant is described.
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