Cutting Fluids

  • Michael F. KollerEmail author
  • Iain S. Foulds
Reference work entry


Most metal-cutting operations require the use of cutting (or metalworking) fluids for cooling and lubricating and for the removal of metal fines. Such fluids are complex mixtures of a base oil, additives and substances that develop during use.

The most common diseases caused by metalworking fluids are skin diseases; problems of the respiratory tract and other disorders occur much less frequently. Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common skin disease in workers who come into contact with cutting fluids, followed by allergic contact dermatitis. The mainly responsible sensitizers are additives such as biocides.

Other skin disorders like squamous cell cancer, oil acne, hyperpigmentation, granuloma or infections are rarely seen today due to better metalworking fluids and working conditions.


Metalworking fluid Cutting fluid Cooling Lubricating Removal of metal fines Mineral oil Additive Anti-aging substance Oxidation inhibitor Anti-wear additive Detergent Dispersant Emulsifier Pressure additive Fragrance Deodorant agent Foam inhibitor Friction inhibitor Metal deactivator Corrosion inhibitor Viscosity index improver Secondary component Neat oil Soluble oil Emulsifiable fluid Semisynthetic fluid Synthetic fluid Bacteria Yeast Fungi Biocide Skin disease Respiratory disease Contact dermatitis Irritant contact dermatitis Allergic contact dermatitis Photosensitization Formaldehyde-releasing biocide Non-formaldehyde-releasing biocide Isothiazolinone Patch test Hand protection plan Prognosis Oil acne Hyperpigmentation Granuloma Skin cancer Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon Infection Inury 



I would like to thank Dr. Hanspeter Rast, dermatologist at Suva, for his helpful comments and corrections.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Occupational MedicineSuvaLucerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Occupational and Environmental MedicineUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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