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COOLART Report Summary

Project ID: 268019
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - COOLART (Science-based Paradigm Shift for Metalworking Fluids - the Art of Cooling)

The CoolArt-project dealt with the interdisciplinary challenges of metalworking fluids (MWFs). MWFs are applied in nearly all manufacturing processes to improve productivity and are a vital parameter in the process chain for the production of nearly all items of daily use. There are several aspects of MWF-application which make MWF-research a cross-disciplinary challenge. In the machine tools, the MWFs have to be supplied in an optimized way to avoid the generation of thermal damage of the machined parts. Furthermore, the more efficient MWF are supplied, the less energy is required to run the process.
The MWF itself contains of a complex combination of chemical substances. Despite the fact that MWFs are applied for more than 100 years, the exact working mechanisms have not been understood prior to the start of the CoolArt-project. The holistic approach of the CoolArt-project included studies regarding the chemical and microbial aspects of MWFs as well as more engineering-related topic such as the MWF-supply and the maintenance. Within the funding period, the members of the CoolArt-project achieved some major innovations and advancements, which are summarized in the following bulletoints:
- The findings of the CoolArt-team give strong support to the comparably new theory describing adsorption effects to mainly be responsible for the functional performance of MWFs. Sterical, antagonistic and synergistic effects regarding the combination of different sulfur- and phosphor-containing MWFs in tribological tests and machining experiments have been described by the CoolArt-team for the first time. This allows for knowledge-based composition of future MWFs which will be much more efficient. Thus, the productivity can be improved and the energy- and resource-efficiency of manufacturing processes will be increased.
- The CoolArt-project developed automated and demand-oriented systems which allow for optimized and thus sustainable application of MWF in practice. Both, the MWF-supply and the MWF-maintenance are covered by closed loop systems with innovative sensors and actuators. This allows for energy-efficient supply and reliable avoidance of thermal damage during machining. Furthermore, the service life of MWFs will significantly be improved by automated online maintenance. Here, the resource-efficiency (many MWFS are mineral oil based) is increased.
- The influence of small changes of the MWF-chemistry was shown and indicated that MWF-maintenance is of high importance. Especially due to microbial changes, the composition of MWFs changes considerably over the service life. Thus, the CoolArt-project developed new ways of reacting quickly to microbial changes within the fluid. Furthermore, there is large data regarding the question, whether application of biocides to an early stage is really necessary or an unnecessary risk of health issues. In some cases, the addition of biocides can be avoided without drawbacks regarding the technical performance of MWFs. Here, the CoolArt-project generated valuable basic knowledge to improve the working conditions in the manufacturing industry.
- Future generations of engineers were inspired regarding MWF-related research in a completely new lecture at the University of Bremen (since 2012) and a Demonstration-Center was established allowing for giving people from different target group the chance to experience the interesting aspects of MWF-research. This allows for a sustainable knowledge transfer and for sensitizing target groups to the challenging and inspiring topic of MWF-research.

Reported by

Stiftung Institut für Werkstofftechnik
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