A refractometer is used to determine a concentration of a metalworking coolant within an aqueous solution. It operates based on the principle of refraction. When rays of light pass from one medium into another, they are bent either toward or away from a normal line between the two media. The angle between the normal ray and the incident ray is called the angle of incidence. The angle between the normal ray and the refracted ray is called the angle of refraction.
Refractometers are available with a variety of scales including Salinity, Alcohol, Automotive coolants, Urine, Serum and specific gravity. For metalworking applications at Brix Scale is used to measures metalworking fluid concentration.
Concentration is the position of the horizontal line on the brix scale and is shown in the diagram below.
Oil emulsion is signified by the blurriness of that line. As tramp oils are beaten into the coolant, the line will become blurrier. When the line is so blurry that an actual line is not visible, it is time to change the coolant.
Calibration and Use of a Refractometer
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