Method To The Madness: How Can you Measure Bacteria In Metalworking Fluids?
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Method To The Madness: How Can you Measure Bacteria In Metalworking Fluids?


construction lubricants

Metalworking fluids provide lubrication, chip removal, corrosion control, and cooling to keep machines and engines running efficiently. In fact, it can be argued that metalworking fluids are what keep your business productive and satisfying customers.

But like every other chemical, metalworking fluids can eventually expire. Bacteria can overpower your oil solutions, rendering them useless. Fortunately, there are a few smart ways you can measure the level of bacteria in your industrial lubricants.

Dip Slides: Measuring Bacteria Through Cultivation

Agar cultivation is one of the most common means of measuring bacteria in metalworking fluids. This method works by subjecting the metalworking fluid to a dilution spread onto an agar plate.

The plates are incubated for two to 10 days and then observed. The idea behind this method is that the bacteria will swarm and colonize around the food inside the agar.

Bacteria colonies can be seen on the surface of the agar as small dots. By using this method, you're able to see how many bacteria are in your metalworking fluid.

Just Eyeball It: The Optical Method

One of the newer methods of measuring the number of bacteria in metalworking fluids is through optical methods. Trained individuals are able to determine the number of bacteria and what kinds of bacteria are there are in the metalworking fluid by using a microscope or spectrophotometer.

Optical methods aren't very common in the metalworking industry because of the cloudiness of metalworking fluid emulsions. Optical methods typically work best in the medical industry.

Feel The Energy: Measuring Bacteria With ATP

ATP is a high-energy molecule that can be found in living organisms. It stores the energy necessary to do just about everything.

Another method of measuring the number of bacteria present in a metalworking fluid is by using ATP and fireflies. The luciferase inside a firefly uses ATP and a few nucleotides to create luciferyl-adenylate, the chemical that makes a firefly glow.

You can measure the bacteria in a metalworking fluid by removing all the ATP from a given sample. When added to a firefly, you can use how much light is derived from the firefly as an estimate of how many bacteria are in the MWF sample.

Metalworking fluids like aeroshell grease, Tribol products, Castrol Syntilo, and synthetic lubricants are essential to the success of your machines and your business. To learn more about aeroshell grease and other industrial supplies for metalworking, contact Santie Wholesale Oil Company today.


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