Nanotechnology is not usually associated with machine shops and traditional manufacturing environment. In a machine shop in Michigan, coolant used in manufacturing process gives a smell of onions. It comes form an ingredient added to the coolant and this ingredient is colloquially called “nano onions”. The main reason it is used is to keep bacteria away from the fluid. Traditional coolants are known to attract bacteria reducing the life of the coolant and requiring frequent machine maintenance.
- Beyond reduced maintenance, Mr. Steinard says tool life increased by about 30 percent immediately upon switching from coolant to nanofluid.
- Most of Mr. Steinard’s work is in aluminum, but the nanofluid formulation was originally developed for more difficult-to-machine materials.
- The nanofluid technology is not new. Its provider, Tool-X LLC, was formed in 2012. The essentials have not changed since then.
““Maintenance is pretty much nil,” he says. “I check the concentration, but that’s about it.””