Keeping the virus and the bacteria at bay
We are firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Exceptional circumstances lead to exceptional measures. Many companies have been required to work at a reduced capacity or close temporarily. Production stoppages may have a pernicious effect on the quality of emulsions and metalworking baths. That is why we are pleased to provide several tips to prevent a new battle with bacteria or mould after the virus has run its course.
Prepare for stoppages
1. Remove excess oil
Floating oil can cause bacteria to form that disturb the balance of the emulsion. It is important to remove the leak-off oil to prevent this contamination. You can do this with an oil skimmer.
2. Increase the concentration
The higher the concentration of the emulsion, the lower the chance of contamination in the event of temporary stoppages. That is why you should temporarily increase the concentration of the emulsion to between at least 8% to 10%.
3. Provide an air supply
Constantly bubbling air through the stationary emulsion bath prevents the formation of anaerobic bacteria. Using an aquarium pump in the bath can do wonders!
Replace the emulsion if necessary
It is best to discard the contents of small casings or highly contaminated emulsions to allow the machine to dry during a stoppage. After adding the new emulsion or solution, you should also always check the concentration and the acidity so that you can get off to a smooth start again!
Restart the machine
1. Measure the concentration
The concentration of the emulsion should ideally be at least 6%. You can use a refractometer to check the current concentration. To calculate the concentration, multiply the measured Brix value with the refractometer index of the product. You can find the product’s refractometer index on the product label, the technical sheet.
2. Check the acidity
You can check whether the emulsion has fallen prey to bacteria formation by using a pH meter. Normal acidity lies between 9 and 9.5 pH. The pH can fall if the concentration of emulsion falls. If the pH is too high, it may cause skin irritation.
If you have any further questions about the maintenance of metalworking baths, our representatives continue to be at the ready to provide advice (by telephone and email) and assistance (concentration and pH measurement on site after the coronavirus crisis) when you get started again.