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Understanding the Basics of a High Pressure Coolant System


Machine tools such as high-pressure coolant systems remain critically important to the operation of manufacturing facilities and must be carefully understood before you begin. By understanding these systems, you can dramatically improve your operations and reduce operating costs.

What is HPC

HPC is a high-pressure pumping system that takes coolant to your cutting tools as you work. It is designed to operate 1,000 PSI for general machining needs. However, it may also reach up to 3,000 PSI or higher for ultra-high-pressure application needs. These systems are common in many machine shops due to their unique abilities. Many new machines are ordered with high-pressure units but many older machines currently in service can add high-pressure coolant to improve the machine’s performance and extend its useful machining life.

How are HPCs Used?

HPC systems are used in all applications including milling, drilling, turning, and grinding. When you're cutting with CNC machining tools, the process produces something known as a vapor barrier. This barrier occurs in the cutting zone due to the heat generated during the machining process. The heat generated boils low-pressure coolant away before it ever gets to the part of the tool to cool the part or lubricate the tool.  This barrier is not a good thing: with the part not being cooled and the tool not being cooled or lubricated, the part's finish can be negatively impacted, your tooling life shortened, or unexplained catastrophic failures can be very costly problems.  Thankfully, high-pressure coolant systems can help you avoid all these problems that can keep you from your goal of increased throughput.  

Ways Facilities Use HPC

If you could increase your production 30% or more, increase speeds and feeds by 20% or more, and increase your tool life 3 to 10 times, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

High-pressure coolant is used successfully in many different applications and in many different manufacturing sectors. Even though the aerospace, automotive, medical, heavy industries, and energy manufacturing sectors have very different materials and applications they all have the same challenges to overcome. Facilities that use high-pressure coolant know that their HPC unit is more than just a pump, it’s a profit center because the unit solves chip management, tool life, and part finish issues just to name a few benefits brought to them by their HPC solution.  

High-pressure coolant systems are essential to machine shops. They provide the short- and long-term benefits that you need to improve the production and profitability of your operation. Make sure that you talk to an HPC provider and manufacturer to learn more about these systems. These professionals will help to install these units in your facility, and can even provide application support, unit maintenance, and other types of support to keep you productive.