Navigating Engine Coolant Option

Engine coolants, often referred to as antifreeze, play a critical role in maintaining the optimal temperature of a vehicle’s engine. Choosing the right coolant is essential for preventing overheating, corrosion, and ensuring efficient engine performance. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of engine coolants, their applications, and key considerations for making an informed selection.

Types of Engine Coolants

  1. Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT):

    • Composition: IAT coolants typically consist of ethylene glycol as a base fluid with inorganic additives such as phosphates, borates, and silicates.
    • Applications: Commonly used in older vehicles, IAT coolants provide basic corrosion protection but require more frequent replacement.
  2. Organic Acid Technology (OAT):

    • Composition: OAT coolants use organic acids, such as sebacate and 2-EHA, as additives along with a base fluid like ethylene glycol or propylene glycol.
    • Applications: Recommended for modern vehicles, OAT coolants offer extended service intervals, improved corrosion protection, and compatibility with various metals.
  3. Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT):

    • Composition: HOAT coolants combine the features of IAT and OAT formulations, using both inorganic and organic additives.
    • Applications: Suitable for a wide range of vehicles, including both older and newer models, HOAT coolants offer extended service life and robust corrosion protection.
  4. Silicate-free (Si-OAT) or Phosphate-free (P-OAT) Coolants:

    • Composition: Si-OAT and P-OAT coolants eliminate specific additives (silicates or phosphates) to address certain compatibility concerns.
    • Applications: Useful in vehicles with aluminum components, as they reduce the risk of silicate gel formation, preventing radiator and heater core clogging.

Key Considerations for Choosing Engine Coolants:

  1. Vehicle Compatibility:

    • Different engine materials (aluminum, cast iron, copper) may require specific coolant formulations to prevent corrosion. Always refer to the vehicle’s manual for compatibility guidelines.
  2. Service Intervals:

    • Consider the maintenance schedule of your vehicles. OAT and HOAT coolants generally offer longer service intervals compared to traditional IAT formulations.
  3. Temperature Range:

    • Engine coolants must effectively protect against freezing in cold temperatures and overheating in hot conditions. Check the recommended temperature range for your region.
  4. Additive Depletion:

    • Over time, additives in coolants deplete, affecting their protective properties. Regularly check and, if needed, replace the coolant based on your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
  5. Environmental Impact:

    • Some coolants are formulated to be more environmentally friendly. If this is a concern, look for biodegradable or non-toxic options.

Tips for Selecting Engine Coolants:

  1. Follow Manufacturer Recommendations:

    • Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended coolant type and service intervals.
  2. Consider Vehicle Age:

    • Older vehicles may have specific coolant requirements. It’s crucial to choose a coolant that aligns with the needs of your specific vehicle.
  3. Understand Coolant Color:

    • Coolants come in various colors (green, orange, pink, blue). The color often indicates the type of additives used. Consult your vehicle manual to decode coolant colors.
  4. Antifreeze-to-Water Ratio:

    • Diluting coolant with water is essential, but the ratio can impact performance. Follow manufacturer recommendations for the correct antifreeze-to-water ratio.
  5. Seek Professional Advice:

    • If uncertain, consult with automotive professionals or coolant distributors. They can provide insights based on your specific vehicle and operational conditions.

Why Choose Twin Specialties Corporation

Twin Specialties Corporation, a leading lubricant and coolant distributor, offers a wide range of products from reputable manufacturers such as Peak, Shell, and others. Their experienced team can assist purchasing managers, maintenance managers, and fleet managers in selecting the most suitable engine coolant for their specific needs. Whether you require a high-performance OAT coolant or a specialized Si-OAT formulation, Twin Specialties ensures access to top-quality products and expert guidance.


Selecting the right engine coolant is crucial for maintaining the health of your vehicles and preventing costly repairs. Understanding the differences between IAT, OAT, HOAT, and specialized formulations allows for informed decision-making. For further assistance and to explore a diverse range of engine coolants, contact Twin Specialties Corporation. Trust in their expertise and the quality brands they offer to keep your fleet running smoothly.


A Quick Guide to Hydraulic Fluids

Hydraulic oils are critical components of hydraulic systems, serving as the lubricant and coolant for hydraulic pumps, valves, cylinders, and other components. With a wide variety of hydraulic oils available on the market today, selecting the right hydraulic oil for a particular application is critical to ensure maximum performance, reliability, and longevity of hydraulic systems.

Types of Hydraulic Fluids

There are several types of hydraulic oils available on the market, including mineral oils, synthetic oils, and biodegradable oils. Mineral oils are the most common type of hydraulic oil, made from crude oil and refined through a distillation process. These oils are affordable, widely available, and have good lubrication properties. However, they have limited resistance to oxidation, which can lead to oil breakdown and sludge formation.

Synthetic oils are engineered oils that provide superior performance and durability compared to mineral oils. They are made from a variety of base stocks, including esters, polyglycols, and silicones, and are often blended with additives to improve lubricity, anti-wear properties, and resistance to oxidation. Synthetic oils are generally more expensive than mineral oils, but they offer better performance and longevity, making them ideal for high-pressure hydraulic systems and extreme temperature environments.

Biodegradable hydraulic oils are specially formulated to meet environmental regulations and minimize ecological impact. These oils are made from vegetable oils, esters, or other biodegradable base stocks, and are designed to break down quickly in the environment. Biodegradable oils are typically more expensive than mineral and synthetic oils, but they offer superior environmental performance and safety.

Water-glycol fluids are a mixture of water and glycol, and they are known for their excellent heat dissipation properties. They are commonly used in high-heat applications, such as in steel mills and other heavy-duty industrial applications. However, they are not as widely used as mineral, synthetic, or bio-based oils, and they are generally more expensive.

Factors for Selecting a Fluid

When selecting a hydraulic oil, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of the hydraulic system and the operating conditions. For example, hydraulic systems operating in cold environments may require a hydraulic oil with low pour point to ensure adequate fluidity and lubricity. Similarly, hydraulic systems operating in high-temperature environments may require a hydraulic oil with high thermal stability to prevent oxidation and viscosity breakdown.

Different hydraulic oils also have different viscosity grades, which determine the flow rate and resistance to flow of the oil. Viscosity grades are typically expressed in numbers, such as ISO 32 or ISO 46, with higher numbers indicating higher viscosity. The viscosity grade of the hydraulic oil should match the recommended grade specified in the equipment manufacturer’s manual.

In terms of cost and performance, mineral oils are the most affordable type of hydraulic oil, but they may require more frequent oil changes and maintenance due to their limited resistance to oxidation. Synthetic oils are more expensive, but they offer superior performance and longevity, making them ideal for high-pressure hydraulic systems and extreme temperature environments. Biodegradable oils are the most expensive, but they offer superior environmental performance and safety. The choice of oil will depend on the specific application and the user’s priorities.

Different hydraulic oil manufacturers may also have variations in their product formulations, additives, and performance characteristics. It’s important to choose a reputable manufacturer and ensure that the hydraulic oil meets the required specifications and performance standards for the specific application. Some of the most well-known manufacturers include Mobil, Shell, Chevron, and Castrol. These companies have a reputation for producing high-quality oils that are suitable for a wide range of applications. Other manufacturers may have a focus on a particular type of oil or a niche application.


In conclusion, selecting the right hydraulic oil for a particular application is critical to ensure maximum performance, reliability, and longevity of hydraulic systems. Mineral oils, synthetic oils, and biodegradable oils are the main types of hydraulic oils available on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, performance, and environmental impact. When selecting a hydraulic oil, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of the hydraulic system and the operating conditions, as well as the viscosity grade and the reputation of the manufacturer. By choosing the right hydraulic oil, businesses can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their hydraulic systems, minimize downtime and maintenance costs, and maximize the lifespan of their equipment.

Twin Specialties distributes a full line of hydraulic fluids and other industrial fluids to meet any and all manufacturing demands. Contact a Twin Specialties representative to learn more about our product lines and/or get a quote.

Comparing Types of Solvent Degreasers

Solvent degreasers are used in industrial cleaning to remove oils, greases, and other contaminants from metal and other surfaces. There are three main types of solvent degreasers: chlorinated, petroleum-based, and aromatic. Each type has its own pros and cons, and it is important to choose the right type for the job to ensure the best results and the highest level of safety.

Types of Solvent Degreasers

Chlorinated Solvent Degreasers

Chlorinated solvents, such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), have been used in industrial cleaning for many years. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants, making them a popular choice for cleaning parts and machinery. However, chlorinated solvents have several drawbacks. They are known to be carcinogenic and can cause serious health problems, including liver and kidney damage, neurological problems, and reproductive issues. They are also known to be hazardous to the environment and can contribute to air pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer.

Petroleum-Based Solvent Degreasers

Petroleum-based solvents, such as mineral spirits and kerosene, are another common type of solvent degreaser. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants and are generally less expensive than chlorinated solvents. However, petroleum-based solvents are also flammable and can be hazardous to workers if not handled properly. They also have a strong odor and can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems if inhaled.

Aromatic Solvent Degreasers

Aromatic solvents, such as toluene and xylene, are a third type of solvent degreaser. These solvents are effective at dissolving oils and other contaminants and are generally less hazardous to human health than chlorinated and petroleum-based solvents. However, they are still flammable and can be hazardous if not handled properly. They also have a strong odor and can cause skin and respiratory irritation.

Choosing the Right Solvent Degreaser

The best type of solvent degreaser to use for a particular application will depend on a number of factors, including the type of contaminant being removed, the surface being cleaned, and the cost and availability of the solvent.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a solvent degreaser:

  • The type of contaminant being removed: Some solvents are better at removing certain types of contaminants than others. For example, chlorinated solvents are very effective at removing grease and oil, while petroleum solvents are better at removing paint and rust.
  • The surface being cleaned: Some solvents can damage certain types of surfaces. For example, chlorinated solvents can damage aluminum and magnesium surfaces. It is important to choose a solvent that is safe to use on the surface being cleaned.
  • The cost and availability of the solvent: Solvent degreasers can vary in price, so it is important to choose one that fits within your budget. Some solvents may also be more difficult to find than others.

Finally, it is important to choose a solvent degreaser that is compatible with the equipment and surfaces being cleaned. Some solvents can damage certain types of metal or plastics, so it is important to check the manufacturer’s specifications before choosing a solvent degreaser.

Safety Precautions

When using solvent degreasers, it is important to take safety precautions to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the solvents. These precautions include:

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not breathe the vapors.
  • Avoid skin contact.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while using solvent degreasers.
  • Dispose of solvent degreasers properly.

How Twin Specialties Can Help

Solvent degreasers are a powerful tool that can be used to remove a variety of contaminants from metal surfaces. However, it is important to choose the right type of solvent degreaser for the application and to take safety precautions when using solvent degreasers. As a leading supplier of industrial chemicals and solvents, Twin Specialties can assist manufacturers with sourcing the appropriate solvent degreasers and cleaners for their needs. Our team of experts can help you choose the right solvent degreaser for your application while provide top-notch customer service and competitive pricing.

A Guide to Heavy Duty Engine Oils

Heavy duty engine oils are essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of diesel engines. They provide lubrication, cooling, and cleaning functions, protecting the engine from wear, corrosion, and deposit buildup. There are several types of heavy duty engine oils on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. In this article, we will explore the different types of heavy duty engine oils, their applications, and the trade-offs between basic and advanced products.

Types of Heavy Duty Engine Oils

Mineral Oil-Based Engine Oils

Mineral oil-based engine oils are the traditional and most widely used type of heavy duty engine oil. They are derived from crude oil and have been used in diesel engines for many decades. Mineral oil-based engine oils are known for their excellent lubrication properties and their ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures. They are also relatively low in cost compared to other types of heavy duty engine oils. However, mineral oil-based engine oils tend to form sludge and deposit buildup, which can lead to engine problems over time. They also have limited performance in extreme weather conditions.

Synthetic Engine Oils

Synthetic engine oils are designed to provide superior performance and protection for diesel engines. They are made from synthetic base stocks and contain advanced additives that improve their lubrication, cooling, and cleaning properties. Synthetic engine oils offer several benefits over mineral oil-based engine oils, including better fuel economy, extended drain intervals, and improved engine protection in extreme weather conditions. They also have excellent resistance to deposit buildup and sludge formation. However, synthetic engine oils tend to be more expensive than mineral oil-based engine oils.

Semi-Synthetic Engine Oils

Semi-synthetic engine oils combine the benefits of mineral oil-based engine oils and synthetic engine oils. They are made from a blend of mineral base stocks and synthetic base stocks and contain advanced additives that improve their performance and protection properties. Semi-synthetic engine oils offer better engine protection than mineral oil-based engine oils, but they are less expensive than synthetic engine oils. They are also less likely to form deposit buildup and sludge than mineral oil-based engine oils.

Trade-Offs Between Basic and Advanced Products

Basic heavy duty engine oils provide adequate lubrication and protection for diesel engines but offer limited performance and protection properties. Advanced heavy duty engine oils, on the other hand, provide superior performance and protection for diesel engines but are more expensive. When selecting a heavy duty engine oil, it is important to consider the specific needs of your engine and the application it is used in. For example, if you operate in extreme weather conditions, you may want to consider a synthetic engine oil that provides superior protection against temperature extremes. If you operate in a dusty or dirty environment, you may want to consider an engine oil that provides better protection against contamination.

Heavy Duty Engine Oil Applications

Heavy duty engine oils are designed for use in diesel engines in a variety of applications, including on-road and off-road vehicles, marine vessels, power generation equipment, and industrial machinery. Different applications require different types of heavy duty engine oils. For example, on-road vehicles require engine oils that meet the specifications set by the American Petroleum Institute (API), such as API CK-4 and API FA-4. Off-road vehicles require engine oils that provide better protection against dirt, dust, and water contamination. Marine vessels require engine oils that provide superior protection against rust and corrosion.

Choosing the Right Engine Oil

When choosing the right engine oil, there are several factors to consider, including the type of engine, the application, and the operating conditions. It’s important to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to determine the recommended oil specifications for the engine.

Viscosity Grade

One of the most critical factors to consider is the viscosity grade of the oil. Viscosity is a measure of an oil’s resistance to flow. The correct viscosity grade for an engine is determined by the manufacturer based on the operating temperature and load conditions of the engine. Using the wrong viscosity grade can lead to poor engine performance and reduced engine life.

API Service Category

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has established a service category system for engine oils. The API service category indicates the performance level of the oil and the type of engine for which it is recommended. The current API service categories are CK-4 and FA-4. CK-4 oils are recommended for engines manufactured before 2017, while FA-4 oils are recommended for newer, more fuel-efficient engines.

Brand and Manufacturer

Choosing a reputable brand and manufacturer is also essential when selecting heavy duty engine oils. Brands like Duramax, Drydene, Shell, and Mobil are well-known for their quality and performance. These brands have a proven track record of providing excellent engine protection and durability, and they offer a range of products to suit different applications and operating conditions.

Which Oil is Best Suited for Your Application?

When it comes to choosing the right oil for your application, several factors come into play. Some of these include the type of engine, operating conditions, and the age and mileage of the engine. Here are some guidelines on which oil to choose for different types of applications:

  1. On-Highway Fleets: For on-highway fleets, synthetic oils are the best choice as they provide better fuel efficiency, longer drain intervals, and superior wear protection. Duramax, Shell, Mobil and Drydene are some of the popular brands in this category.
  2. Off-Highway Fleets: Off-highway fleets, such as construction and mining equipment, require heavy-duty oils that can withstand harsh operating conditions. Synthetic oils are an excellent choice for these applications as they provide better wear protection and longer drain intervals.
  3. Agriculture Equipment: Agriculture equipment requires oils that can perform in hot and dusty conditions. Semi-synthetic oils are ideal for these applications as they offer good performance at a more affordable price point.
  4. High Mileage Engines: For high mileage engines, high mileage oils are the best choice. These oils contain additives that help to reduce engine wear and protect seals and gaskets that may have become brittle with age.
  5. Eco-Sensitive Applications: Bio-based oils are the best choice for eco-sensitive applications as they are biodegradable and offer good performance.

Selecting the right oil for your application can be a daunting task, but oil distributors such as Twin Specialties can assist in sourcing the appropriate products. Twin Specialties offers a wide range of heavy duty engine oils and other heavy duty and industrial lubricants from popular brands such as Duramax, Drydene, Shell, and Mobil. They also provide samples, testing, pricing, and quotes to help companies make informed decisions and get the right product at the right price. Contact Twin Specialties for a heavy duty engine oil quote.

Coolant in CNC Machines – What Is It and Why It Is Used?

Written by Peter Jacobs, CNC Masters

During machining operations, overheating can have detrimental effects on the workpiece and the equipment, which could be avoided by cooling them down post-usage. Therefore, cooling is crucial for most machines to function efficiently and effectively. 

Hence, this article covers a wide range of aspects related to the usage of coolants in CNC machining, including their purpose, the many kinds of coolants utilized, and their characteristics. Let’s delve deeper.

What’s the Significance of Coolants in CNC Machining Operations?

While executing a milling or turning operation using a desktop CNC mill, the heat gets produced as a byproduct of the materials being sheared off the workpiece and by the friction of the chip moving across the cutting tool. Rapid tool wear occurs at high temperatures, and undesired changes in the workpiece’s metallurgical properties and toughness, thermal expansion, and chemical reactions like oxidation can only materialize at high workpiece temperatures. Since this is the case, you should employ a coolant to maintain a steady temperature between the workpiece and the tool.

Vital properties of coolants include-

  • Enhanced lubrication and cooling performance,
  • The surface of the workpiece gets protected from corrosion,
  • They aid in maintaining chemical, physical, and technical stability,
  • They prevent excessive forming. 

The primary purpose of coolants is-

  • Cooling- While in the case of very mild cuts and moderate duty cycles, air may also be employed as a coolant. However, this time-consuming and labor-intensive cutting process occurs during production. Therefore, liquid coolant is used to quickly evacuate heat from the tool, which aids in speed cutting and reducing friction and tool wear, making it possible to maintain a steady production stream.
  • Lubrication- Cutting fluid is not only utilized for cooling but also as a lubricant between the workpiece and the tool’s cutting edge. The heat created during machining can cause chips to weld themselves to the tool if they aren’t lubricated first.

Common Types of Coolants

There are four primary classifications for coolants, and within each of those, there is a wide range of possible compositions. When choosing a coolant, you should base your decision on the comprehensive performance & efficiency it offers concerning the machining operation and the materials being utilized.

  • Soluble Oils: The most prevalent type of water-soluble cutting fluids, soluble oils, are also an excellent alternative for general-purpose machining because of their versatility. The disadvantage of these systems is that when the coolant sump is not well treated, they are more likely to experience the microbial proliferation of bacteria and fungi.
  • Synthetic Fluids: These are the cleanest cutting fluids as they do not include any mineral oil and repel tramp oil. Additionally, synthetic coolants offer the least amount of lubrication.
  • Semi-Synthetic Fluids: They are regarded to provide the best combination because they contain fewer oils than emulsion-based fluids, have a less putrid odor, and, nevertheless, retain most of the lubricating properties of emulsion-based fluids. Given all such features, they are suitable for a greater variety of machining applications.
  • Straight Oils: Straight oils are distinguished from other types of oils as they are insoluble in water; they are made up of a mineral or petroleum oil base and include lubricants such as fats, vegetable oils, and esters. They have the best lubricating properties but the worst cooling properties.

How Do Coolants Get Delivered to CNC Machines?

Cutting fluids can be applied in various ways; the most effective method will vary depending on the operation at hand and the equipment at disposal. Coolant is typically supplied at high pressure and volume straight to the chip-tool contact in a metal cutting process, with valves surrounding the machine to confine the splash and others to reach the filter and recirculate the fluid. The probability of flooding is reducing as technology improves. The novel method incorporates a variety of liquids, aerosols, and gas delivery options. One technique is to use cryogenic cooling on the tip of the tool to lubricate it with a minimal amount of oil.

A through-spindle coolant system uses the spindle and the tool themselves as channels to transport coolant to the cutting interface. Nowadays, high-pressure coolant systems are also used.

Importance of Maintaining Appropriate Coolant Concentrations

Many problems might arise if coolant concentrations are not kept at the right amounts. There’s a significant risk if the coolant concentration is lower than the minimum ratio required by the machine coolant supplier, which may include:

  • Corrosion of machinery and workpiece
  • Tools wear out faster
  • Microbial growth

However, if the coolant concentration is excessive, the following will occur:

  • Lowering of heat conduction
  • Foaming
  • Weakened lubrication
  • Concentrated wastage
  • Degradation of tools owing to residue buildup
  • Discoloration of machinery and machined components

Therefore, it is essential to keep a log sheet of concentration levels for every CNC equipment since this provides insight into the system operation and the degree to which concentration levels fluctuate daily.


Learning about the various types of coolants and how they function will help you choose one that is ideal for your equipment and machining operation. Also, the life of your tools and machinery, as well as the coolant itself, can be dramatically increased with regular monitoring of coolant concentration. Twin Specialties has been supplying metalworking fluids since 1955. We have years of expertise to assist you in selecting the right fluids for your machining needs.


About the Author:

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights to various blogs on CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general.


Considerations for Coolant Selection

Finding the optimal metalworking fluid is a difficult task because no fluid is “one-size-fits-all.” Each shop has its own unique set up of machines, operations, metals, etc. Operators have to consider many factors before selecting the optimal fluids or fluids for their shop. The optimal fluids should successfully perform the following core functions:

  • Lubricate the cutting edge
  • Disperse heat from the cutting edge and workpiece
  • Flush away chips from the cutting edge

Additionally, there are secondary functions a coolant can improve your operations. These include:

  • Corrosion protection
  • Extending tool life
  • Reducing energy consumption and machining forces
  • Improve surface finishing

To find a coolant that can perform these functions, you should take the following factors into consideration.

Machine Requirements

The types of machines in your shop will determine what type of fluid you will need. Older, swiss-type lathes can use neat oils. Whereas newer and more sophisticated CNC mills and lathes perform better with a water-soluble product. This is because higher speeds and higher pressures need more cooling than swiss-type lathes. The water does an excellent job cooling the cutting edge and workpiece. For neat oils, the cutting diameter plays a key role in determining the appropriate viscosity. The smaller the diameter, the lighter the viscosity should be to maintain and improve flow characteristics.

If your machine is operating at high speeds and/or high pressures, it is wise to consider a low-foam coolant or a specialized “high-pressure” coolant to use. Synthetic coolants are also an option as they tend to have lower foam rates than semi-synthetic and soluble oils. If your shop has a wide variety of machines and operations, you can consider using different fluids that are tailored to each operation. Over-consolidation can cause issues and may not be worth the savings. Fluids can be bought in smaller quantities and be used in limited cases to ensure performance and tolerances are met.

Shop Preferences

Machines do the heavy-lifting in metalworking, but there are still people behind each operation programming the CNC or working the lathe. Operators always get coolant spray on their skin and could be subjected to mist or spray. Finding a product that does not cause irritation nor spray/mist is paramount to keeping your operators safe and happy.

Shops have to consider the costs and labor involved in changing fluids as well as maintaining fluids. Cheaper fluids may save money, but will require more maintenance, monitoring, and change-outs. If your time is limited, investing in higher cost fluids will free up time to complete other machining tasks.

The ancillary equipment in the shop also can influence what type of fluid you need. If your sumps are equipped with oil skimmers, paying extra for a fluid with advanced tramp-oil-rejection characteristics may be unnecessary. Automatic mixers makes synthetic coolants a more attractive option since the concentration control required for synthetics is much more stringent than semi-synthetics and soluble oils. Understanding what is in your shop will help determine what fluid is appropriate for you.

Operations and Water Quality

As mentioned before, operations with higher speeds and pressures will call for a fluid with robust extreme-pressure (EP) additives to cut the toughest metals. In slower operations, a soluble or neat oil can be sufficient.

Your shop’s location will play a key role and fluid selection since the tap water is different in each town. If your shop has harder tap water, your machining might be negatively affected with higher chloride and sulfur content. Softer water is susceptible to more foaming. Avoid using softer water in higher pressure machining to limit foaming issues. It is recommended to charge up a sump with tap water and then use deionized (DI) water for topping off the sump and maintenance.

Shops can install a DI-Water line that can hook right up to an automatic mixer and improve coolant mixing. Distributors, like Twin Specialties, offer water testing services in the context of metalworking fluids. We can learn more about your water and make product and operational recommendations to improve coolant performance.

Workpiece Materials

Not all metals are the same. Some are soft, some are hard. Some metals are more reactive and require more care and specialized fluids. Magnesium requires certain additives or fluids that designed to machine magnesium. When machining carbide, it is best to use an amine-free coolant that does not react with the carbide and result in cobalt leaching. Harder metals like Inconel or titanium require coolants with EP additives and superior cooling to ensure heat is dispersed and friction is reduced. If you machine titanium or exotic metals in limited circumstances, it may be beneficial to keep a pail or a few gallons of a robust coolant in storage used specifically for those jobs and operations.

Potential Contamination

Contamination can occur frequently and in many forms. The main contaminants to watch for are: oxidation, tramp oil, and biologics. To combat oxidation, many fluids have anti-oxidant additives. It is key to monitor temperature as excessive heat will oxidize the oil. Antioxidants are limited in coolants; once all of the additive is consumed, the oil degrades quickly and will need be replaced sooner rather than later.

Tramp oils can change the oil’s viscosity, thus its flow characteristics. Having coolants with tramp-oil-rejecting compounds will help, but using oil skimmers is an excellent option to combat tramp oil. The skimmers remove the oil off the top of the sump and limits tramp oil being circulated through the machine. Oil filters are recommended to keep tramp oil from circulating through the system. Neat oil systems should use 5 micron filters and coolant systems should use 15 micron filters.

Outside biological contamination like bacteria can wreak havoc on your machine and cause clogs and ruin your fluid. Many fluids contain biocide additives to combat bacteria, but many factors allow it to grow uncontrolled. Be mindful to thoroughly clean your machine before recharging it. Any remnants of bacteria will multiply and ruin your fluid. Hot operating environments spur bacteria growth so it is recommended to implement as much climate-control in your shop as possible. Circulating the coolant will also make it tougher for bacteria to grow. Tank-side biocide additives like Grotan can supplement fluids and fight bacteria. Ensuring your coolant has proper concentration will ensure there is enough biocide to prevent bacteria growth.


Monitoring concentration is key for maintaining your fluid. Some fluids, like synthetics, require tighter control and more monitoring. If you are limited by time, using a soluble or neat oil will reduce the time needed to monitor your fluid. Coolants typically run between 5 to 15% concentration. Using a refractometer to regularly track concentration is the best way to monitor and maintain coolants. Technical data sheets include refractometer charts and BRIX factor information to ensure the coolant is mixed optimally. If the line in the refractometer is blurry, that is a sign of contamination in the sump. Automatic mixers are ideal for charging sumps and eliminate human error or measuring biases that may occur when mixing coolant.


Selecting a metalworking fluid is a thorough and long process. Taking these considerations into account will set you up for long-term stability and success. Working with a metalworking fluid distributor and/or manufacturer is strongly recommended to help select to correct product. Twin Specialties offers a wide range of metalworking fluids and fluid maintenance resources to ensure you get the most out of your fluid.

Understanding Multipurpose Greases

Since the invention of the wheel, operators have used grease to help run their bearings. Grease technology remained similar until the industrial revolution, where heavy machinery and advancing technology required lubricating grease to keep up. In the last few decades, grease technology has advanced so much that there is probably a grease tailor-made for any application. However, this has resulted in the loss of an “All-Purpose Grease.”

Multipurpose is not All-Purpose

Many applications are similar in regards to operating temperature, loads, speed, etc. and could be lubricated with the same grease. This creates an illusion that one grease can lubricate all of your machinery. It is tempting to do so because of the benefits of lubricant consolidation, increased purchasing power, and simplified lubricant storage. Greases are uniquely formulated to operate at certain loads, speeds, temperatures, etc. This means that a grease will work optimally for one application, but subpar for another.

In the transport industry, there used to be separate greases for chassis and wheel bearings. This changed when lithium greases emerged and proved to be suitable for both chassis and wheel bearings. These multipurpose greases became popular, but there were certifications needed in order to be truly “multi-purpose.” The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) has “L” certifications for chassis greases and “G” for wheel bearings. They were paired with an “A”, “B”, or “C” to denote the severity of operations; “A” being the lightest and “B”/”C” being the most severe duty. Most multipurpose greases carry the NLGI GC-LB certification. These are the gold-standard greases for heavy-duty transport operations.

The “Multipurpose” nomenclature is a great marketing tool, but can mislead people into thinking a grease has more “purposes” than it actually does. There is a place for multipurpose greases, but engineers have to evaluate the operation and the grease’s characteristics before selecting the appropriate greases and plans for consolidation.

Selecting the Proper Greases

Some OEM recommendations are simple like, “Use a lithium #2 grease.” Whereas others are complex and list different specifications that ensure optimal performance. Some specifications to consider include:

  • NLGI Grade/Thickness
  • Thickener Type
  • Base Oil Type and Viscosity
  • Dropping Point
  • Oxidation Stability
  • Pumpability
  • Water resistance characteristics
  • EP characteristics

These specifications will help guide you in selecting the appropriate grease. By evaluating these characteristics, you are less likely to over-consolidate your greases and achieve optimal performance. More greases mean a greater probability of cross-contamination, this can be mitigated with proper storage and labeling.

Twin Specialties offers a Full Line of Greases

When selecting the proper grease, talking to manufacturers and informed distributors helps greatly. Twin Specialties has a full line of greases from manufacturers like Shell and Castrol. We work with manufacturers to help find the right product that meets any OEM specification. Contact us if you are looking for the correct grease or just more information.

How Long is Lubricant’s Shelf Life?

When buying lubricants, you have to consider how long they will last. For high-volume users, this is not as much of an issue compared to smaller-volume users. High-volume users’ regularly consumer and reorder lubricants and typically have systems in place to monitor usage and spending. Small-volume users might be spread a drum or two of a lubricant through the course of a year. When consumption is spread out, you have to start to consider shelf-life into your purchasing decisions and operational processes.

Where can I find Shelf-Life Information?

Table made by George Wills and Dr. A.R. Landsdown

Information on a lubricant’s shelf life can be found on a technical or safety data sheet. If it is no t clearly defined, manufacturers and distributors can provide guidance on shelf life for its products. However, this information might be based on storage only or based on typical operations. George Wills and Dr. A.R. Landsdown provide a brief list of lubricants and their shelf-lives for products that have shorter shelf-lives.

Some technical data sheets (TDS) can show how long a lubricant can last in use before losing oxidation stability. This is measured in operating hours. Most oxidation tests will show a lubricant can last 5000+, 8000+, 10000+, etc. hours. However, like all scientific tests, this is done in a controlled environment (usually set by ISO or ASTM standards and specifications). We know that not every operating environment is like an ASTM or ISO test.

What Determines a Lubricant’s Shelf Life?

A lubricant’s shelf life depends on a variety of factors; some of which depend on the lubricant itself and some depend on usage. Greases have much shorter shelf life due to the presence of thickeners than oil-based lubricants. Highly-refined and synthetic oils have longer shelf lives due to better molecular stability. This is much more straight-forward and lubricant suppliers can inform you which lubricants last longer than others.

Using a lubricant is different for each operation. Some operations happen at low temperatures, others occur at high temperatures. The Arrhenius rate is a chemistry term that demonstrates how chemical reactions increase by changing temperature. For lubricants, as temperature increases by 10°C (18°F), the oxidation rate will double. The more oxidation that occurs, the faster a lubricant will break down and reduce the shelf life and effective use life.

Machinery Lubrication compiled a chart from its experts to show what can increase or decrease a lubricants shelf life.

Table Courtesy of Noria Corporation and Machinery Lubrication


How can you Reduce Oxidation?

Oxidation occurs when the lubricant comes into contact with air. Certain lubricants are more susceptible to faster oxidation and degradation due to the composition of the lubricant. However, these are known and can be accounted for, whereas human factors are a much greater influence on degradation and chemical stability.

Storage is key to maintain longer shelf-life and higher lubricant performance. Some things that can improve shelf-life include:

  • Storing lubricants in proper ambient temperatures. Cooler temperatures around 68°F are ideal.
  • Storing lubricants in dryer environments. Ambient humidity and moisture increase oxidation and lubricant breakdown.
  • Storing lubricants indoors. Outdoor storage can expose lubricants to more extreme and volatile conditions.
  • Storing lubricants in proper containers. Poor-quality steel containers can expose the oil to iron and fuel oxidation. Plastic or plastic-lined drums are ideal for storage.
  • Reduce agitation of the lubricant. The move the lubricant is agitated or moved, the more surface area of oil is exposed to air and can oxidize.
  • Evaluate usage and purchase lubricants accordingly. This smooths out spending, but also reduces the likelihood of using older products.
  • Practice First-In-First-Out (FIFO) when using lubricants. This prevents lubricants from sitting and aging.
  • Label lubricants, containers, and machines. Knowing when a lubricant was made or put into use allows individuals to be more mindful of when to change lubricants.

How do I Get Informed?

Unfortunately, there is no industry consensus on shelf-life. Following the tips above will extend and maintain shelf-life. Speaking with manufacturers, distributors, and engineers is the best option in getting product-specific shelf-life information. Manufacturers will know exactly what goes into their products and can provide shelf-life information and best practices for storage.

Twin Specialties can provide information about Best Practices for Lubricant Storage and Managing Metalworking Fluids. We work with manufacturers to provide transparency and information about lubricant shelf-life and usage. Contact Twin Specialties for information about lubricants, best practices, and shelf-life.

Coolants for Heavy Duty Machining

This is a copy of the post created by Monroe Fluid Technology, June 2021. Used with permission.

Written by Fred Kane, Monroe Fluid Technology

Monroe Fluid Technology has two ‘workhorse’ water soluble oil concentrates, designed specifically for the demands of heavy duty machining applications. Where a chlorinated additive is specified, our Astro- Sol C HD is recommended. In circumstances where a chlorinated additive may not be suitable, we offer Astro-Sol A-XBP. Both are low foaming products, suitable for virtually all metals and applications, and are designed to resist bio-degradation.

Astro-Sol A-XBP

Astro-Sol A-XBP is a medium-to-heavy duty biostatic soluble oil. This product was designed to be extended with water for the machining and grinding of virtually all metals except magnesium. This chlorine-free formulation is especially suited for aerospace and other applications which restrict the use of chlorine. Astro-Sol A-XBP has exceptional foam control for high-pressure operations and was designed using raw materials that have the ability to resist extreme biological degradation, thus providing a very long sump life in a properly maintained machine tool. Astro-Sol A-XBP is designed for use in metalworking applications such as all CNC milling, turning, drilling, tapping, grinding and sawing applications.

Astro-Sol C HD

Astro-Sol C HD is an extreme duty soluble oil concentrate designed for the most demanding machining operations where controlled foam and cleanliness are required. The unique combination of chlorinated extreme pressure additive, modern boundary lubricants, and a controlled-foam emulsifier package brings outstanding performance to the most severe applications. Astro-Sol C HD is formulated with a high level of stabilized chlorinated EP additive using a synthetic emulsification platform that is very stable and exceptionally low foaming. Astro-Sol C HD is designed for use in heavy-duty metal removal, deep hole drilling, tapping and threading, as well as all conventional machining and is very effective in sawing operations.

Trial Monroe Metalworking Fluids

If you have an interest in trialing one or both of these products, just inquire and we will send samples and also our Astro-Clean A, a sump cleaner you can add directly on top of your current coolant, run for 24-48 hours while making parts, then dump, rinse and recharge with the new coolant. Remember, water quality is important, so we may need a sample of your water for testing, or if you know the hardness of your water, we can resolve that issue easily.

Twin Specialties is an authorized distributor for Monroe Fluid coolants, oils, rust preventatives, and industrial cleaners. Contact Twin Specialties to learn more about Monroe Fluid’s product line and learn about our sampling and testing programs. Check out Twin Specialties’ catalog of metalworking fluids, rust preventatives, and industrial cleaners.

3 Factors for Perfecting Aqueous Cleaning

When cleaning finished machine parts, manufacturers have to meet the increasingly stringent cleanliness tolerances, while also operating a cost-effective cleaning process. Old standards no longer apply and manufacturers have to evaluate their operations to select the best cleaning process. Just utilizing best practices and monitoring your tank is not enough.

The first thing that should be assessed is the contamination generated in all stages of the manufacturing process. Engineers should have data on all processes and substances that parts have been exposed to. Cleaner and equipment suppliers should have reliable lab work to help understand the process and contaminants. Equipment and cleaner manufacturers should provide transparent testing and results to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their solution.

The 3 Cleaning Energies

Every cleaning process will depend on a balance of 3 energies: chemical, thermal, and mechanical. If one form of energy is increased, the other two forms of energy can typically be reduced. The key to perfecting your aqueous cleaning process will be balancing the 3 energies.

Chemical Energy

Chemistry should be the first consideration in developing a cleaning process. The part material and contamination will determine the appropriate pH range of your aqueous cleaner. The goal is to minimize chemistry at the lowest temperatures and least costly form of mechanical energy to achieve cleanliness standards in the required time cycle.

Alkaline cleaners (pH 9-14) are ideal for removing organic contaminants such as oils, greases, coolants, etc. Acidic cleaners (pH 1-6) are ideal for removing inorganic contaminants such as oxides and rust. Neutral cleaners are excellent for use in systems that use more mechanical energy such as ultrasonic cleaning.

Depending on the part material, less or more aggressive cleaners will be appropriate. More neutral chemistries should be considered for softer and more reactive metals, such as aluminum, copper, or brass. A more aggressive chemistry could start attacking/reacting with the part itself. Less reactive metals can withstand stronger chemistries, higher temperatures, and more mechanical energy. Inert chemistries will require more mechanical energy to drive reactions and break down contaminants.

Thermal Energy

Heat is controlled in a cleaning system by different heating elements. What elements and how they are programmed are dependent on your goals and system. It is important to carefully monitor temperatures to prevent reduced heat element life and temperature capacity. Sensors and controllers are recommended to monitor cleaning systems and can help prolong service life and improve performance.

Heat increases the speed of molecules and faster molecules are better at breaking down bonds of contaminants. For every 17 F increase in temperature, reaction rates can double. This can accelerate the cleaning process. The optimal temperature in most systems is 120 F to 160 F. Too low of temperatures can lead to foaming and less effective cleaning.

Increased heat can reduce drying times and accelerate the cleaning process. It is important to remove pools of water using gravity or airflow. However, too hot of temperatures could create “flash rusting,” which can lead to parts being deemed off-spec or require additional cleaning or work.

Mechanical Energy

The final piece of the puzzle is mechanical energy. This is determined by the equipment and process that is used. Vertical agitators are popular because of their forgiveness and ability to avoid oil loading. The main way to generate mechanical energy is creating agitation.

In immersion cleaning systems, agitation is created by moving the parts in and out or within a tank of cleaner. Spray washers introduce agitation by introducing energy into the cleaner by spraying it at high speeds onto parts. Spray washers can be used in conveyer systems that have multiple stages, such as washing, rinsing, and rust inhibiting.

Ultrasonic cleaning introduce the most mechanical energy and are ideal for cleaning processes with limited heat and less aggressive chemistry. Ultrasonic cleaning should be considered when conventional methods fail to meet cleanliness tolerances.


Balancing the three energies is key to perfecting a cleaning process. When selecting an aqueous cleaner, consider your equipment, process, contaminants, and part material. Twin Specialties offers a full-line of aqueous cleaners that can fit any cleaning process. Many cleaners are specifically designed for ultrasonic, spray, and/or immersion cleaning process. Contact Twin Specialties to learn more about our aqueous cleaners and see what product is right for you.