Understanding High Pressure Coolant Systems

Understanding High Pressure Coolant Systems

What is High Pressure Coolant?

High pressure coolant (HPC) refers to pumping machine tool coolant at pressure exceeding 300 PSI. In general machining, this usually means 1,000 PSI. In some applications ultra high pressure coolant, or 3,000 PSI, is used. MP Systems' High Pressure Coolant Systems cover this broad range of desired pressures.

Why Do I Need a High Pressure Coolant System?

Anyone who machines precision parts should consider using a high pressure coolant system. Read “Benefits of High Pressure” to learn how High Pressure Coolant Systems control chips, improve part quality, extend cutting tool life, and reduce machining cycle times.

What are the benefits of High Pressure Coolant?

When parts are machined, a layer of steam forms on the cutting tool and the work piece. This layer of steam, called the “vapor barrier”, acts as a heat insulator that reduces cooling in the small area, or “hot zone”, where the edge of the cutting tool comes in direct contact with the work piece. The hot zone holds tremendous heat – enough to deform parts, crack tooling, and even “heat treat” the metal itself. The vapor barrier keeps that heat from escaping.

High pressure coolant quickly penetrates the vapor barrier, cools the hot zone, and quenches the metal chips, causing them to become brittle and snap away from the part. It then immediately flushes the chips away from the cutting zone so they aren’t machined again. This produces better parts, allows machine operators to increase their speeds and feeds, and extends the life of the cutting tool, often by five times or more.