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Water To Substitute Oil In Industry, Thanks To German Researchers
German researchers regard water as a potential replacement for mineral oils, for lubrication purposes in industrial operations like drilling, milling, turning and grinding. These operations employ mineral oils as cooling lubricants to avoid overheating of work parts and tools. But mineral oils being a finite resource, a team from Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising came up with the suggestion of using water as a replacement.
Two projects, backed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, support this idea. Andreas Malberg, a researcher involved in the project stated that a key additive, bio-polymer, altered the properties of water to get oil-like performance. He refrained from letting out the name of the polymer. The bio-polymer behaves as a thickening factor, increasing the viscosity of water by nearly 40 times. This solution was further modified with water soluble additives to improve its anti-corrosive properties.
This recently formulated lubricant stands proud with the German raw material efficiency prize it received in December 2011, and is already being dished out by Carl Bechem under the product name BERUFLUID.