Customers Asked, Bohle Delivered: Biodegradable, Allergen-Free Glass Cutting Fluid

December 13, 2023

For years, the industry standard in glass cutting fluids was ACECUT, a premium product used by window fabricators to influence the fissure during the scoring process and lubricate the high-speed cutting wheel on CNC cutting machines.

“ACECUT is a good product, which we offered,” says Dana Barberet, Director of Automatic Glass Cutting and Chemicals for Bohle-America, “but customers had started asking for a fluid that was more environmentally and user-friendly. In 2018, Bohle decided to create their own product.”

A high-quality glass cutting fluid will minimize the friction between the cutting wheel and the axle and wheel holder. It also contains the temporary tension induced into the glass during the scoring process and chemically helps create the fissure.

Combined, this process enables you to reduce cutting pressure and results in less damage to the glass surface, stronger edge strength, and better edge quality. It’s also critical that the fluid doesn’t attack any soft or hard coatings applied to glass.

Bohle’s new Silberschnitt cutting fluid delivers identical performance benefits to ACECUT. The appropriate evaporative products have also been tested by Cardinal, Guardian, and Vitro for use on their coated glass products and have been added to their approval list.

In addition to its performance benefits, Bohle’s Silberschnittt product is biodegradable and allergen-free.

The reaction from customers, says Barberet, has been quite positive.

Cutting fluid reduces glass waste

Bohle has a long history creating chemicals, including adhesives for UV bonding and surface protection liquids for shower doors and architectural glass. 

As a manufacturer of glass cutting wheels for CNC glass cutting machinery, Bohle understands the importance of glass cutting fluid and the role it plays in the glass cutting process.

Referred to as the “Bohle glass cutting system,” the process includes: selection of the proper glass cutting wheel; the technical understanding of the correct operating parameters for the CNC machine; and the proper glass cutting fluid.

Bohle’s system seeks to improve customer yields through higher quality and less scrap.

Cutting fluid is important because it stabilizes the cut. As the cutting wheel moves over the glass surface, a temporary tension is induced into the glass during the scoring process. Cutting fluid ensures this tension is contained – resulting in a softer break-out of the glass.

Dry cutting, on the other hand, causes this temporary tension to immediately dissipate. It also typically results in a flaky scoreline with micro fractures. These micro fractures cause the temporary tension to dissipate even more quickly – resulting in a harder break-out, inferior edge quality, and decreased edge strength.

By using the appropriate evaporating or washable cutting fluid for a customer’s specific application, the cutting fluid will remain on the scoreline until the glass is broken out – providing a softer break-out and better edge quality.

Removed components harmful to the environment

Biodegradable is the process whereby components in items such as detergents or paper naturally break down or decompose – whether in septic systems or water treatment facilities. Chemical and paper product manufacturers have to ensure components won’t harm the environment or local ecosystems; hence, detergents, cleaners, and things like cutting fluid need to biodegrade – the faster, the better.

Says Barberet, “The level at which a product is biodegradable has to do with how quickly materials decompose. Silberschnitt V55 and V59 – our two most popular evaporating cutting fluids – are ‘readily biodegradable.’ This means they decompose to their natural state by 60% or more within 28 days. This is the ideal standard.”

Allergen-free, easily removed with soap and water

When cutting glass, operators wear gloves to protect their skin from the sharp edges of the glass. Gloves, however, can become saturated with fluid – which means the fluid comes into contact with the skin.

Regardless of which brand is used, people can experience skin reactions to the cutting fluid.

Because it’s allergen-free, operators experience fewer skin reactions with Silberschnitt. The fluid is easily removed from the skin by washing with ordinary soap and water.

Partnership with ISC – Providing “boots on the ground”

Barberet also added that Bohle has had a trusted relationship with ISC for 13 years. “We freely share information from our engineers and product managers with ISC sales people – and in turn, ISC tells us what they’re hearing from end-users.

“We’ve taken our partnership to a new level and now ISC will supply the Silberschnitt products to companies producing IG units for windows, doors, skylights, and refrigerated units as well as those companies tempering glass for architectural use.

“Most importantly, though, is that ISC salespeople frequently visit their customers; they have the opportunity for interaction to talk about the customer’s process, selection of the proper cutting fluid, and to address any questions or areas of opportunity. They’ve been great at answering customers’ questions and providing additional information.”

President of ISC Jim Hornung said, “Our reps have been trained by the technical managers at Bohle to bring added value to our customers. We can work with our customers to ensure the correct products and processes are in place to maximize our fabricators’ efficiency.

“ISC also has trained professionals, strategically located around the United States, available to work with our customers. The Silberschnitt cutting fluid is stocked in our warehouses, which are located in Georgia, Ohio and New Jersey.”