Firetrace News

We recently received a few interesting photos from our Danish distributor Dania Brandteknik, of burnt out, broken cutting tools from CNC machines, that caused machine fires. The tools were from sliding head CNC lathes.

This type of machine is prone to fires as they use neat mineral oil to cool and lubricate the machining process. They are also often co-located in a small area with other machines and are left running unmanned overnight.  If a lathe is put out of action because of a fire this this potentially disastrous for a small to medium size subcontract machine shop as it could lead to loss of customers and income. 

If a cutting tool becomes damaged it leads to work hardening, which in turn causes a rapid heat build-up hot enough to ignite the cooling oil. This is particularly a problem when machining stainless steels, Hastelloy and titanium, which are increasingly used in aerospace, oil and medical industries. Additionally there can be a risk of swaff  catching fire especially with titanium and magnesium alloys.

In this case the burnt tools were from CNC machines making stainless steel products for the boat industry or hearing aid products working in titanium. On detection of a fire the Firetrace systems fitted activated and extinguished it with no damage to machines, meaning that they were back in production within minutes or a few hours depending on what they are producing. Firetrace’s automatic fire suppression system prevents serious damage occurring and all that is needed to get the machine operational is to clean the inside of machine, check the wiring and tubing and replace the broken tools. It may not even be necessary to replace the cooling/lubricant oil as CO2 used to extinguish the fire is clean and leaves no residue unlike some other systems.


 Damaged CNC Tools
Damaged CNC Tools


Click on the link for more information on Firetrace's range of automatic fire suppression systems for CNC Machines or call 01473 744090.