ANGUS Chemical Company Challenges Tradition with a Contemporary Approach to Metalworking Fluid Formulations

Results from new application study provide formulators with a real-world approach 
to cost-effectively overcoming common performance and industry challenges

BUFFALO GROVE, IllinoisANGUS Chemical Company (“ANGUS”), a leading global manufacturer of specialty additives for metalworking fluids, recently concluded the first phase of an extensive application study to investigate a new, holistic approach to formulating around today’s metalworking fluid challenges. The study encompassed 132 different semi-synthetic metalworking fluid formulations separately showcasing three registered biocides, triazine, benzisothiazolin (BIT), and iodopropynylbutylcarbamate (IPBC). The initial results of the year-long study will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting for the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) in Minneapolis from May 20 – 24.

“As fluid manufacturers advance their current formulations to meet the dynamic market environment, any formulation change can create a ripple effect into labeling, cost and end-user preferences that must be addressed,” said Nicole Webb, ANGUS Metalworking Fluids Technical Sales Representative. “In many cases, the larger the formulary change, the larger the ripple.”

The study, conducted by Webb and ANGUS R&D Application Technologists Soraya Kraszczyk and Bonnie Pyzowski, concentrates on new methods for scaling changes in working formulations to tackle developing trends in the market, while managing the downstream impact to cost, fluid performance and labeling. The team started by looking at the amine package typically used in metalworking fluid formulations, which they segmented into two categories: base amine and complementary amine.

“As formulators look to fine-tune the individual performance characteristics of their metalworking fluids, one of the things to adjust is the amine package.” said Webb. “The primary function of the base amine is to develop the pH of the fluid, and occasionally this choice provides secondary benefits. On the other hand, the complementary amine is being added at a specific amount for a specific purpose, such as fluid longevity.”

Using five of the most common base amines combined with four commonly used complementary amines, the team analyzed aluminum staining, foaming, lubricity, reserve alkalinity, and cast-iron corrosion performance on fresh dilutions of the lab formulations. Next, the team looked at fluid longevity and pH stability with a 30-week microbial challenge based on a worst-case scenario of what a fluid could encounter in-use. The comprehensive results generated from the study provides formulators with an initial indicator of fluid performance across a wide expanse of formulation and performance variables.

“The big takeaway we found is the effect the base amine has on the overall performance of metalworking fluids, not just pH.” added Webb. “For example, certain base amines have a known problem with staining. You can address this issue with stain inhibitors or various complementary amines. However, if one of these is lost during the lifecycle of the fluid, then the undesirable staining performance of the base amine is highlighted. A different approach is to address the staining issue by utilizing a different chemistry as the base amine, which can help improve other fluid performance criteria.”

“This groundbreaking study reinforces the importance of working with the right building blocks to achieve a more balanced and cost-effective performance profile, as opposed to traditional formulation approaches, which often take a somewhat one-dimensional view of a fluid’s challenge or issue.” said Mike Lewis, Business Vice President for ANGUS in North America. “For years, ANGUS has worked to help navigate this unique environment and we will continue to further explore the dynamics of this formulation space.”

ANGUS will present a summary of the study findings, “Shifting Perspectives: Formulating for Industry Longevity,” on Tuesday, May 22, from 11 – 11:30 a.m. in Metalworking III room 101G at the 2018 STLE Annual Meeting. For additional information, visit, or contact an ANGUS representative in your region at

About ANGUS Chemical Company ANGUS Chemical Company is a leading global specialty and fine chemical company dedicated to the development of novel chemistries that deliver enhanced product and process performance across a wide range of applications in biotechnology, paints and coatings, personal care, metalworking fluids, energy and other industrial markets. The company innovates through its unique nitroalkane chemistries, which are produced at fully integrated, ISO 9001-certified manufacturing facilities in Sterlington, Louisiana, USA, and Ibbenbüren, Germany. ANGUS serves its global customers through six regional Customer Applications Centers located in Chicago, Illinois; Paris, France; São Paulo, Brazil; Singapore; Shanghai, China; and Mumbai, India. The company is privately owned by Golden Gate Capital and is headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. For more information, visit

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