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A new MQL lubrication technology: MaXtreme

Vortex system with micro-aerosol

12 MAY 2021

DropsA’s experience in the search for technological solutions in the field of lubrication has a history of more than 70 years, and even today the role of R&D is critical in the company philosophy. After years of research, a new MQL lubrication system has been developed, with a completely new approach that is revolutionizing new and existing machine lubrication.

What does this entail? “MaXtreme - Machine to the eXtreme”, the revolutionary system for micro-aerosol minimal lubrication, which represents the evolution of single and double aerosol generation technology patended by DropsA.

MaXtreme is a ready to go solution for the most demanding and high performance near-dry machining applications requiring external, internal, and through-the-tool minimal quantity lubrication.

Some information on minimal lubrication (MQL) and near-dry machining

Near dry machining is a recently developed technology designed to replace traditional coolant and pure flood oil systems in machining environments with a controlled compressed air stream that carries quantities of cutting oil in an “aerosol” format to the cutting surface.
This process ensures “Extreme machining” or high performance machining, often surpassing coolant based machining with increased tool life and reduced cycle times.
Removing coolant from the process also provides important environmental benefits and reduces high waste disposal cost.

Operating principle of Vortex system

The aerosol is either carried to the cutting surface externally (via nozzles located around the tool) or Internal, also known as the “through the tool” method. Internal lubrication is the most difficult to achieve due to oil particle coalescing inside the tool.

MaXtreme solves this problem by generating ultra-fine particles that can pass through the rotating tool, unhindered by centrifugal force. This is a result of the development of the MaXtreme which combines years of research and development on fluid and aerodynamics characteristics to generate sub-micron oil particles (sub micron diameter) that allow high performance MQL machining.

The Dual Vortex internal solution is a revolutionary system that allows a minimal and near-dry, internal or external lubrication to operate at high efficiency. In fact, for certain applications a second vortex nozzle optimized for higher pressure can be added to allow for increased flow rates of areosal mixture to be applied directly on tools with minimal passage sections, thus offering  better chip removal and constant cooling of the tool.

The design of the exhaust cone nozzle, combined with a controlled surface finish, fractures the oil particles causing deceleration at a controlled rate creating sub-micron particles.

When flow rates become significantly high (typically with extremely large tools), an air booster valve opens to supplement the air flow for chip and heat removal and thereby reducing the aerosol density not required on such kind of machining operations.

This works in a hybrid configuration with the primary nozzle to deliver consistent aerosol even at low flow rates, reducing the “dead zone” in extreme low flow processes.

In addition to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/CE, and due to the increase in pressure performance up to 20 bar, MaXtreme is certified according to PED Directive PED 2014/68/EU.

Lubricants for high performance: MaXtreme Oil & MaXClean

During development, this system has been designed for the use of specific products suited for production purposes, namely the lubricat used in the system. The only lubricant allowed by the manufacturer DropsA S.p.A. is MaXtreme Oil, which offers several advantages listed below:

- Absence of smoke and vapors in machining                                                             
- Outstanding greasing and lubro-releasing properties for improved material surface finishes
- Good anti-wear properties
- Good resistance to oxidation and rust
- High heat removal efifciency with reduced temperatures in the machined parts.                                          

Also available is MaXClean, a detergent with excellent cooling properties developed for the cleaning of machines equipped with MaXtreme technology.
- Lubricating, cooling, and wear-resistant properties
- Does not contain mineral oil
- Reduces waste to be disposed of and reduces consumption
- Prevents the formation of material build-up on the tool
 For application with:
- Minimal lubrication systems        
- Mechanical machining and grinding
- Medium harsh generic cutting operations

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