Managing Bacterial Growth in Coolants
A bacterium needs nutrients in order to propagate in a system. Any system filled with fresh water, unless it is de-ionized, contains all the nutrients to support growth. Nutrients for bacterial growth can also found in the coolant itself, although newer-generation coolants are designed to mitigate this.
Bacteria enter the system from:
- Airborne bacteria from atmosphere
- Operator’s hands
- Anything that enters the system
- Metal fines
- Under floor return lines
Bacteria increases every 20-30 minutes. The process of binary fission ensures that each cell becomes two cells within that time frame. In this manner, it is possible for a single cell to grow to two billion cells in 30 hours.
Controlling the growth cycle is imperative to keeping an effective coolant in your machines.
Most bacterial growth occurs at temperatures between 68°F and 130°F. Temperatures above 130°F or below 68°F will curtail growth, but may not destroy organisms.
To destroy organisms, a temperature above 175°F. is required.