A revolutionary metalworking fluid that is biodegradable, practically non-toxic and generates no oil mist has been developed by Monsanto. Most machining processes in metalworking require the use of metalworking fluids for lubricity and cooling, to prevent corrosion and to transfer metal chips away from workpiece surfaces.

Usually, metalworking fluids are water-based synthetic emulsions or oil emulsions. Commercial biocides are usually added to make these fluids resistant to the growth of bacteria and fungi which cause rancidity, odours, loss of machine tool performance and even some worker illness.

Monsanto’s metalworking fluid is a completely water-based fluid, the first to be based on proteins rather than oil or synthetics. While working on research into protein technology, a scientist at Monsanto discovered that this fluid looked, felt and operated like oil. As a metalworking fluid it therefore had some unique advantages: superior cooling, waste treatability, biodegradability and improved worker safety.

The initial focus for the Glacier metalworking fluid, as it is called, will be in grinding where misting and disposal issues are important, but there is no reason why the technology cannot be extended to other applications such as milling, threading, drilling and turning. Its cooling properties allow machines to run faster and promote longer tool life.

The fluid is practically non-irritating to the skin and eyes and it is non-toxic if taken internally. As aerosol mists are generated in high speed machining operations, the effects of these mists can be chronic toxicity and carcinogenic exposure. One of the main benefits of the Glacier metalworking fluid is that it generates no oil mist and much less mist than emulsion metalworking fluids. It is classed as practically non-toxic to aquatic organisms with thresholds similar to table salt.

Figure 1: Biodegradeable, non toxic, non-hazardous metal working fluid

{{Table 1: Protein-based metalworking fluid performance

Property Typical Value for Glacier Reference

Corrosion at pH 8.7 None ASTM G31Metals requiring Materials with lead speciallyspecial treatment added, eg free machining brassprior to disposalFoaming None ASTM D892Load Wear Index 129 ASTM D2783Weld Point 710 kg-f ASTM D2783

MonsantoTel: High Wycombe (01494) 474918Enter 403}}