Using metalworking fluids to lubricate tools and keep components cool during typical aerospace manufacturing applications can produce a range of airborne contaminants including oil and coolant mist, dust, fume, steam and smoke.
If these contaminants are not controlled effectively, they can cause significant problems across many areas of a business. It has been well-documented that exposure to metalworking fluids and fume can cause a wide range of health issues including occupational asthma, dermatitis, liver damage, and even cancers. The HSE strengthened its enforcement procedure for mild steel welding fume in 2019 following confirmation that exposure to welding fume from mild steel can cause lung cancer, and possibly kidney cancer.
In addition to health hazards, poor air quality can result in inferior product quality, equipment breakdowns, lower levels of worker productivity, as well as the costly repercussions of failing to comply with industry regulations.
Component quality can also be affected by contaminated air. It is critical that parts destined for use in the aerospace sector meet the highest quality standards possible, as dictated by ISO/TC 20 – the technical committee of the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) responsible for developing and maintaining standards for aircraft and space vehicles.
Installing effective air pollution control systems in production facilities can help ensure components are produced in the cleanest environment possible to avoid potential contamination post-production.