INTRO TO DILUTING MCLUBE
This page discusses diluting McLube’s water-based formulas only. In certain regions McLube offers dilutable solvent-based formulas. Refer to the relevant technical data for more information about diluting solvent-based products, and always consult your McLube Technical Representative for process assistance and starting ratios beforehand.
Dilutions provide many benefits for manufacturers; however, optimal dilution ratios vary widely from plant-to-plant, process to process. Always take a careful, methodical, and gradual approach to testing dilution ratios in a lab setting before moving
to the production floor. Consistency of dilution breeds consistency in performance of a given release agent, lubricant, or
anti-tack coating. Your McLube Technical Representative can work with you to select the optimal dilution ratio as well as help train operators to ensure consistency of the results obtained.
DILUTION PROS AND CONS
THE RIGHT DILUTION MINDSET
If you are currently purchasing or testing a McLube product and would like to start diluting, then contact your local McLube Technical Representative for assistance. Not every McLube formula is suitable for dilution and not every process will support a diluted process aid. While the product you are currently using may not be suitable for dilution, McLube does offer concentrates for many popular products. We may also deliver product in partially filled containers, allowing customers to add the diluent directly to the original container. Continue reading for more information about custom formulations and dilution best practices.
DILUTIONS BEST PRACTICES
DO NOT use or otherwise handle hazardous materials unless you have the proper knowledge, expertise, and fire and
safety equipment necessary to do so.
Review up-to-date safety information, including SDS, before dilution or other disposition of the products.
Ensure your mixing equipment and safety equipment are operational and suitable for your purposes.
Consult your McLube Technical Representative for advice on cleaning procedures, materials, etc.
USE clean equipment to dilute the products (reduces contamination of the product).
REMOVE dust, rust, grime, and residue from previously mixed McLube.
USE a suitable cleaning product:
• Toluene, methyl-ethyl ketone, xylene, mineral spirits
• McLube also offers specialty cleaning products for tenacious materials
Establish a routine schedule of PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE on all equipment, including mixing tanks, vessels, and any equipment used to agitate the products.
Take the time to clean the inside of agitation/mixing devices. You will thank yourself down the road.
Refer to the product TDS for specific instructions and follow the best practices below.
For products that require mixing, ensure that you mix BEFORE dilution, and periodically during the mixing process.
Follow the same procedure during application.
Mix the concentrated product as well as the dilution you are making during this process.
Mixing by hand is often the BEST way to agitate our products. When using an automated mixer, keep the RPM low to avoid sheering the product, which could render it ineffective. Do not run a bubbler mixer all day to avoid de-emulsification
of the solids content.
McLube products containing Molybdenum Disulfide require users to mix thoroughly before application. Mix well or run an automated mixer at low RPM until ALL solids collected on the bottom are dispersed. Scrape the bottom of the container,
and observe the end of the scraper; if clumps of solids are observed, then keep mixing until you cannot dredge solids from the bottom of the container.
Some PTFE-based products and organic resins require extra mixing as well. Follow the same procedures for Molybdenum Disulfide products – these solids will disperse faster than moly-based products.
ALWAYS consult your McLube Technical Representative before attempting dilution.
Add water to product, DO NOT add product to water (reduces the risk of de-emulsification).
Test dilutions in a lab setting before running trials on the production floor to reduce scrap and protect your tools.
Achieve success at the recommended starting ratio (as per the product TDS) BEFORE attempting further dilution.
NOTE: the recommended starting ratio may be full-strength.
Establish a methodical, scientific procedure for testing your dilutions with controls to measure relative effectiveness. Ensure that your procedure is easy for operators to replicate.
If multiple shifts or operators are diluting product, consider assigning one individual to dilute for everyone or, for larger operations, appoint one manager/engineer to supervise all dilutions used by every shift to prevent inconsistencies.
Dilution Ratios Explained
McLube will provide a Technical Data Sheet (TDS) with all samples and purchased products. TDS contain basic product information, including application and dilution instructions. Products suitable or intended for dilution will have a starting dilution ratio as well as a ratio that should not be exceeded (some users may be able to go further, but this is uncommon). Exceeding the maximum dilution ratio could render the product ineffective for your particular application. We highly recommend the customer begin testing the product at the starting dilution ratio in order to avoid over-dilution during the testing phase. Higher dilutions should ONLY be tested when the customer has achieved success at the starting dilution ratio, unless your Technical Representative has advised otherwise. DO NOT use a concentrated product at full strength unless your McLube Technical Representative has advised you do so.
Our TDS describe dilution in terms of adding “parts of water” to “parts of product.” The following example serves
to clarify our dilution instructions so that this crucial step is not left to user interpretation. Always ensure proper safety procedures and equipment are employed when working with our materials.
If the product calls for a starting dilution ratio of four-parts water to one-part product (4:1):
• Then the user should add four-gallons of water to every one-gallon of product.
• If you are diluting 1-gallon of product to achieve a starting dilution of 4:1, then add four-gallons of water to the 1-gallon
of product for a total of five-gallons of diluted product.
• If you are diluting 5-gallons of product to achieve a starting dilution of 4:1, then add four-gallons of water to every
1-gallon of product for a total of 25-gallons of diluted product.
Your McLube Technical Representative can provide further clarification as well as assistance with selecting the ideal
dilution ratio for your operation.
NOTE: If you have not followed this model in the past but still achieve the desired result, then DO NOT change
McLube's product lines are tailor-made for your manufacturing needs.
Get in touch with a McLube expert to discuss your process challenges here.
GET SAFETY DATA SHEETS
Current and prospective customers and distributors can request an up-to-date SDS here.