Fire protection concept
In the metalworking industry, and particularly chip-forming operations, the use of large quantities of cooling lubricants is common. These are predominantly non water-miscible, modern oil types which have the propensity to form explosive mixtures with air. When heated to above their flash point, they form explosive vapor/air mixtures. Choosing cooling lubricants with the highest possible flash points helps to counter this effect. However, it is not possible to avoid the formation of aerosols through spray aeration or atomization. Aerosols are potentially explosive even below the flash point. When using oil/water emulsions (water-soluble cooling lubricants), only a water content of over 80 % can reliably prevent ignition.
There are a number of safety measures required in order to use non-water-soluble cooling lubricants in machine tools. LTA Lufttechnik has developed a special fire and explosion protection system, which has been appraised by an independent institute (IBEXU).