Why should I have oil skimmers on my machines?

  • In most machine tool coolant systems and detergent wash systems, tramp oils are the number one contaminant.
  • In coolant systems, tramp oils collect on top of the coolant sealing off oxygen and promoting the growth of anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria feed on tramp oils and the components of the coolant. It also produces offensive hydrogen sulfide gas (Monday morning smell).
  • By removing tramp oils using oil skimmers, bacterial growth can be reduced or eliminated and sump life can be greatly increased.
  • In wash systems, tramp oils can leave residues on parts. By using oil skimmers to remove them, the bath life can be extended.
  • Most oil mist is more tramp oil than coolant and poses more of a health risk than coolant mist only. Removing tramp oils with an oil skimmer can reduce the amount of oil mists.
  • Some tramp oils, such as hydraulic fluid, can react with the coolant causing splitting and accelerated bacterial growth, resulting in premature pumpouts. They can also be an irritant to the operators.
  • Tramp oils can also cause accelerated tool wear, as they do not have the machining properties of the manufacturers’ lubricants.

Oil skimmers can also be used to remove petroleum, vegetable, or synthetic oils and also greases from process tanks, holding tanks, or catch basins. Virtually any liquid floating on top of another liquid can be removed with an oil skimmer using the correct belt or other material. Non standard applications may take some experimentation.