Rubber duckies to control evaporation from coolant tank?
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  1. #1
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    Default Rubber duckies to control evaporation from coolant tank?

    HI guys,

    Now that I have your attention, I have a question.

    Once upon a time, I was a jeweler, and did a fair bit with plating tanks. To control evaporation from the tanks, we used little plastic balls that floated on top of the bath, covering the surface, and preventing evaporation.
    They looked sort of like ping-pong balls about 1/2" in diameter. You just dumped a bunch of them onto the bath, and they did their thing with no further attention paid.

    I just got a new-to-me wet timesaver, which runs a coolant that's about 95% water. The coolant pump draws from the bottom of the tank, so I can't see any reason *not* to put a few bags of balls into the top of the tank to keep it from evaporating. Has anybody else done this, and how'd it work out?

    Regards,
    Brian

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    I don't think it is supposed to have an open tank anywhere. Doesn't the runoff flow through a filter back into the tank? The rest of the tank has a cover over it then is how they come original I think. I don't own one but have seen a few, though my memory may be off. I would build a sheet metal cover for it instead of using the shade balls.

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    My 2 cents.

    Balls to stop evaporation is a sound idea, however on a machine tool (A time saver is that giant belt sander thing, right?), I don't think your primary evaporation happens from the tank.

    You are spraying that stuff all over the place, and CUTTING, which creates heat, which causes evaporation.

    I honestly can't say I've ever seen any of my tanks noticeably go down, just sitting. I can cut aluminum all day and add a bit of water in the winter, or a decent bit when its hotter and dry in the summer. If I'm cutting some high temp nasty stuff, even at low revs, I'll lose water like crazy, no mist, just a ton of heat in the cut.

    It certainly can't hurt, but I don't think it will help all that much either.

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    HI Guys,

    Yeah, timesavers are the giant flat belt automagic flat surface sanders. This one's smallish (19") and a little older (2001 model), so it does have an open, exposed tank. The sander sort of sits in a metal kiddie pool. It does its thing with the water, and it all runs downhill into the pool. There's two sides to the pool. One's a settler, then it overflows out of the settling tank, into the pump tank. There's a paper filter in the flow path between the two tanks. The pump is in the #2 tank. Rinse, repeat.
    I'm pretty sure I can rig a simple 'no go' fence on the overflow between the tanks to keep the balls corralled in tank 1.
    The pool sticks out 6-8 inches around every face of the machine, if not more. The machine is going to work like hell when it *is* working, but its likely to sit 3-4 days at a stretch. (Has to do with how parts flow in from the laser cutting house.) So it'll have a fair bit of time to evaporate. Thus my thoughts about the balls.

    Speaking of idle time, if anybody in the Santa Cruz, CA area needs parts finishing, we've built ourselves a pretty serious automatic small parts line. May as well share.

    Thanks,
    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    My 2 cents.

    Balls to stop evaporation is a sound idea, however on a machine tool (A time saver is that giant belt sander thing, right?), I don't think your primary evaporation happens from the tank.

    You are spraying that stuff all over the place, and CUTTING, which creates heat, which causes evaporation.

    I honestly can't say I've ever seen any of my tanks noticeably go down, just sitting. I can cut aluminum all day and add a bit of water in the winter, or a decent bit when its hotter and dry in the summer. If I'm cutting some high temp nasty stuff, even at low revs, I'll lose water like crazy, no mist, just a ton of heat in the cut.

    It certainly can't hurt, but I don't think it will help all that much either.
    The open tank on the horiz band saw does loose a lot by evaporation but I don't think the floating balls on it would be a very good idea. It's just so easy to add a bit of water once in a while.
    lewie

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    These coolant tanks need to be skimmed and cleaned periodically. It is always a nasty job. I cannot imagine just how difficult and nasty that task would be with your balls........jus' sayin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    I cannot imagine just how difficult and nasty that task would be with your balls
    Truer words have never been written here...

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    some coolant types tend to attack certain rubber and plastics over long term exposure.
    .
    usually coolant just has a easily removable sheet metal cover on it if evaporation is a problem


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