Imagine a machine shop free from dangerous chemicals and harsh odors,  along with increased productivity and worker safety.

US-based company Hangsterfer’s is celebrating its 80th year as a manufacturer of lubricants for the metalworking industry. Since 1937 it has committed to producing high-performance metalworking lubricants that are environmentally friendly and operator-safe. Hangsterfer’s has worked on ensuring its coolants are safe, securing certification that they are fully compliant with REACH, RoHS, VOC and GHS standards, and thereby gaining approval for use in industries as medical, defence and aerospace.

GHS (Global Harmonisation System) has regulations requiring that products are accompanied by the appropriate safety data sheets and pictograms for all hazardous materials. Given that Hangsterfer’s coolants are free of hazardous ingredients, there is no need for pictograms depicting any potentially harmful substance.

“The manufacturing industry has increasingly come under scrutiny by regulatory agencies around the world for the use of hazardous chemicals,” explains Edward Jones, Chief Operating Officer at Hangsterfer’s. “Strict bans and regulations are growing and many raw materials – including boric acid formaldehyde condensates, secondary amines, and hazardous forms of chlorine – may be made redundant.

“Many metalworking fluids using such chemicals will eventually face drastic formula changes if not total elimination. Formulation changes in specialty coolants may render them redundant in certain applications that require such approvals as aerospace industry.”

The lack of harsh chemicals in Hangsterfer’s coolants does not mean that they compromise on performance. The coolants are proven to increase productivity, extend tool life, and improve surface finish. Coolants can eliminate common machining problems such as foam and staining, resulting in higher levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness over time. The use of coolants ensures long sump life and the capability to machine in multi-metal applications.

Here in Australia, Hangsterfer’s coolants have already proven the concept that exceptional results can be achieved without the use of dangerous chemicals in metalworking lubricants. Speedflow, an aftermarket automotive manufacturer based in Taree, New South Wales, can attest to the success.

The company has been making aerospace-style fittings for the motorsport industry for more than 25 years in Australia and prides itself on the high-quality finish of its components. The high-end motorsport industry demand exceptional product quality and Speedflow has always been conscious about its customers’ attention to detail.

The company started back in 1983 using high-speed steel tooling, with neat cutting oil as its metalworking fluid. The company has moved on since the days of high-speed steel, but it has been a challenge to replace neat cutting oil in its production processes. Parting off, boring, drilling and turning to a shoulder in aluminium proved too demanding for most coolants on the market due to their lack of lubricity. Swarf scuffing would render components useless for anodisation, and the scrap rate would not allow for water-soluble coolants to be used.

“We had been looking for a water-soluble coolant since the early 2000s to replace neat cutting oil in our production,” says David Clark, Production Manager at Speedflow. “The problem was neat cutting oil offered superior lubricity for the required surface finishes, and especially surface protection of components.”

With the help of Hangsterfer’s, Speedflow successfully trialled HE2, a high-lubricity water-soluble oil coolant that was previously developed for an automotive application with the same problem of swarf scuffing.

Hangsterfer’s offers a wide rage specialty coolants for many applications and materials such as aluminium, composites, nickel, stainless steel, titanium, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, tungsten, zirconium and their alloys. Its Australian line-up is stocked by Hangsterfer’s local distributor Livetools Pty Ltd, and also includes aerospace and medical-approved coolants. With the need for high-performance lubricants in modem machines shops, the balance of operator safety and reduction of hash or hazardous chemicals, and unparalleled green technology, Hangsterfer’s has found itself a significant niche.