How to Clean the Coolant Tank on Your CNC Machine

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

If you have a CNC machine with a coolant tank, you should check the tank on a regular basis to ensure it is clean. You can have a machine coolant professional do this, or you can work through the following steps.

1. Check the Purity of the Coolant

If you have water quality test strips, you can use those to check the quality of the coolant in your tank. If the strips show that the coolant has an abnormally low or high pH level or if it shows that the water is too hard, you probably need to replace the coolant.

If the coolant looks relatively okay, you should just clean out the machining coolant and top up the tank, ensuring you use the correct coolant for your CNC machine.

2. Blot Up Oil

If you've decided to just clean the machining coolant, you should start by using a special oil cleaning rag to remove the oil. You simply blot this rag repeatedly on the top of the coolant, and it should soak up the oil. When the coolant looks clear on the top, you are done.

Dispose of these rags carefully. As they are full of oil, they may combust so you need to put them in a container designed for combustible waste.

3. Remove the Chunks of Metal

Then, you need to remove any chunks of metal that have accumulated on the bottom of the coolant tank. You can do this with a slotted scoop. You can buy a scoop just for this purpose or you can use a clean, unused kitty litter scoop.

This metal accumulates as you cut metal with your CNC machine. It's important to remove because it displaces coolant in the tank. When there are too many metal chips in the tank, it's impossible to top up to optimal levels.

4. Remove the Dirty Coolant

If you've found that your coolant needs to be replaced, you need to get rid of all of it. You can simply pump it out. Make sure to put a screen or piece of gauze over your pumping hose, which prevents you from accidentally getting a bunch of metal chips into your pump.

After you have pumped out the dirty coolant, thoroughly clean your coolant tank. To ensure the associated parts get clean, put some high alkaline cleaner into your tank and run the coolant system. Also use any parts that won't automatically get covered by this process—for instance, if you have a washdown hose, use that to ensure the cleaner runs through it.  



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