Quite often when a customer is considering a change, we are asked: “Can I put this on top of my current fluid?” or “is it ok to mix this with my current fluid?”
The short answer is usually “NO”.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but they are confined to one of two scenarios – waylube systems and any other pass through fluid that is similar and not recirculated.
While two metalworking fluids may APPEAR similar to each other – there is an emulsion, they are opaque/white-ish in color, and contain oil – that is normally where the similarity ends. There are a multitude of different chemistries out there and many different types of additives. While they may be compatible (meaning there is no adverse reaction to them being mixed together) you will have a unknown fluid running for some time. How can you check it for performance? Concentration? Longevity? What happens if a problem occurs? What if there IS an adverse effect that isn’t noticeable with a simple lab test for compatibility and takes some time to be evident?
Ultimately, the questions arise out of concern for two areas – downtime, and fluid startup & disposal cost. However, there are some things you can do to minimize this cost and make the changeover process much more efficient with minimal downtime.
Are you considering a fluid change and have concerns about the changeover process and costs? Contact your regional CONDAT sales engineer, or Contact Tim Hare, our metalworking market manager.