Development of a Minimum quantity lubrication system employed in metal working industry using an oil-in-water emulsion based on renewable primary products.

Short Description




Metal working fluids (MWF, cooling lubricants) are widely used in the metal machining industry with the purpose to cool and lubricate the working surfaces. In Austria the consumption of neat oils and emulsion concentrates is estimated at 7.000 tons per year. The predominant share of MWF is based on mineral oil otherwise renewable primary products are rarely in use. Until now efforts were performed to reduce the consumption of MWF drastically. A promising approach to achieve this aim is Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL), where small quantities of MWF are deposited to the surface of tool and machined part, so that the entire fluid is consumed directly during processing. Loss lubrication is enabled; therefore recirculation is no longer required. Expensive conduits of pipes, cleaning efforts, pumps and maintenance can be avoided. The utilisation of easily degradable substances is essential for the environmental friendly use of MQL.

So far, water mixed emulsion is not used in MWL. The results of the completed project "Development of a comprehensive procedure within the design of high-speed-cutting processes in consideration of environmental protection and occupational health aspects" shows that machining of aluminium with MQL and emulsion is possible under certain conditions. Appropriate pump-jet-systems for delivering such small quantities of emulsion under guaranteed stable process conditions have not been available yet.

The objective of the project is the development of a system of Minimum Quantity Lubrication, which consists of a pump/ jet-unit, working with oil-in-water emulsion based on renewable primary products.

The content of the project is the development of the system, which meets the requirements regarding

  1. machining conditions
  2. environmental friendliness and
  3. workers safety and health

that are defined jointly with end-users, developers and distributors. In laboratory tests, characteristics of generated aerosol and geometry of spray are determined as well as the suitability for relevant cutting processes and materials. Subsequently, three different end-users will test the new MQL-System under their specific conditions.


  • Formulation of requirements
  • Development of an MWF-Emulsion based on renewable primary products containing as few as possible additional agents
  • Study on quality and availability of raw materials
  • Investigation, selection and adaptation of the deposit system
  • Analysis of spray characteristic and aerosol generation
  • Detection of the fields of use
  • Tests under field conditions

Project Partners

Project management

  • Koordination: Burkhard Riss, Profactor Produktionsforschungs GmbH
  • Antragsteller: Georg Bauer, Agatex Feinchemie GmbH

Project and cooperation partners

  • Agrar Plus GmbH
    Josef Breinesberger
    Julius-Raab-Promenade 1, A-3100 St. Pölten
  • TPS Technische Produkte Service u. Handelsgesellschaft mbH
    Gerhard Margreiter
    Einfang 33, Gewerbepark Ost, A-6130 Schwaz/Tirol
  • Josef Haidlmair Werkzeugbau
    Willibald Windhager
    A-4542 Nussbach 1
  • Voest-Alpine Mechatronics GmbH
    Hermann Mittermayr
    VOEST-ALPINE Str. 3, A-4031 Linz
  • Protan Produktionstechnik GmbH & Co KG
    Peter Spiegl
    Zaunermühlstr. 3, A-4050 Traun

Contact Address

Georg Bauer
Agatex Feinchemei GmbH
Aichham 11, A-4650 Lambach/Edt
Tel.: +43 (7245) 32341-0

Burkhard Riss
Profactor Produktionsforschungs GmbH
Wehrgrabengasse 1-5, A-4400 Steyr
Tel.: +43 (7252) 884-237