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QualiChem Named Small Business of the Year by Chamber of Commerce
October 31, 2016

SALEM, Va. – Oct. 25, 2016 – QualiChem, an international manufacturer of water treatment chemicals and metalworking fluids, has been recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Roanoke, Va.

The selection criteria for the Small Business of the Year award are increased sales, employee growth, staying power, innovation and contributions to the community, according to the Chamber.

There were 11 business category awards given. QualiChem took the award in the manufacturing category and then went on to be the overall winner among the 91 companies nominated in the region.

QualiChem has achieved more than a 60 percent revenue growth over the last five years. The company employs 77 people, 52 of them in its Salem, Va., facility. QualiChem also has offices in Europe and China, with distributors around the world.

Three years ago, QualiChem re-invested in a major expansion of its headquarters, laboratory and manufacturing facility in a move to boost capacity and enhance customer service. The company increased its square footage by 70 percent, including a new state-of-the-art 45-seat training and conference center.

QualiChem has close working relationships with area high schools and universities to recruit and train students who have an interest in chemistry or manufacturing for internships and full-time employment.

“We have sustained a steady year-on-year rate of growth over the past 15 years and we expect the steep growth curve to continue for the foreseeable future. Our growth is driven by our management team’s focus on new product development, customer service and support for our distribution partners,” said QualiChem President Glenn Frank. “We make a substantial investment in R&D to keep on the cutting edge of technology in our core businesses and have a program of continuous improvement in quality, delivery times and product consistency.”

“The awards selection committee was impressed by QualiChem’s story of finding their niche markets and going from a small operation with mostly local sales to one of the fastest growing cutting and grinding fluids manufacturers in the world,” said Chamber President Joyce Waugh.

Left to Right: Buddy Hill (CFO), Glenn Frank (President), Dennis Butts (Executive Vice President) and Mike Forest (Director of Metalworking)

About QualiChem
Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, Va., QualiChem develops and manufactures metalworking fluids and water treatment chemicals worldwide. The Metalworking Fluids Division produces next-generation cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, rust preventives and metal cleaners. The Water Treatment Division formulates blends and private label chemicals used to control scale, corrosion and fouling in cooling towers, boilers and other industrial systems. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008-certified company and a zero-discharge facility. The company is privately held. For more information visit:

Chlorinated Paraffin Update
November 9, 2015
New Low Foam Technology Solves Production Problems
August 20, 2014

How one manufacturer was stopped in their tracks by not choosing the right coolant for their new automated high-pressure machining center

High-pressure coolant systems can provide important benefits, especially when working with difficult metals like superalloys, titanium and stainless steel.  High-pressure coolant, typically operating at 1,000 psi or higher, works by applying the fluid directly to the point of cut with enough force to prevent vapor formation. The benefits include superior lubrication and cooling, less tool wear, higher cutting speeds and better chip control, resulting in less downtime and increased productivity.

Over the last ten years, even with the recession, the market for high-pressure coolant has grown at an impressive rate. It has become standard in many manufacturing sectors.

Unfortunately, high-pressure systems can also have an unpleasant side effect – foaming.

Greg Antoun, President of ChipBLASTER, a leading manufacturer of high-pressure coolant delivery systems,  explained, “When coolant foams it entrains air bubbles and the density of the coolant drops dramatically. Because the foam itself is so much lighter than water-based coolant, it can’t exert the force required to make high pressure work. Foam doesn’t cool the part or lubricate the tool effectively.  For practical purposes, water-based coolant is not compressible, so when coolant foams the air bubbles are compressible and it can’t be effectively pumped at all. It’s like trying to hammer a nail with a sponge.”

“Foaming kills production, often reducing the effectiveness of hole drilling by 90 percent,” he added. “Both cycle time and tool life can increase 10X by eliminating foam.”

Foaming coolant causes increased downtime, longer cycle times, more part rejections and increased coolant usage. In addition, the slip-fall potential with foam on the factory floor is a safety hazard and adds to increased disposal costs.

“Everyone hates the ugly mess of foam bubbling out of a machine onto the shop floor,” said Antoun. “We have all seen operators that have to keep a mop next to their machines. The operator hates the mess and production suffers.”

The key to mitigating foam in high-pressure applications is selecting the right coolant in the first place, but too often coolant is the last thing manufacturers think about when buying and operating high-end machining systems. 

“Coolant is a mystery to most people,” said Antoun. “They often buy only on cost with disastrous results.”

The Coolant Matters

Actually, coolant selection can make a big difference in how your equipment operates. Just ask Jim Legg, General Manager of LB Pipe & Coupling of Magnolia, Texas. LB Pipe had purchased and installed a state of the art automated cell from OKUMA, which was the centerpiece of a brand-new facility for automating the production of API couplings. The cell included a pair of OKUMA 2SP-V60 machines with ChipBLASTER CV-50 high-pressure coolant delivery systems and a high-speed robotic arm from Kuka. The ChipBLASTER systems are designed to spray the coolant at 1,000 psi at the point of cut to help with lubrication, cooling and chip removal.

At the initial machine startup, “shaving cream” like foam started billowing out of the machine and onto the floor, shutting down the high pressure pumps and creating a maintenance and safety nightmare. “We were not able to make one part,” said Legg.  “Even when operating at 500 psi -- half the recommended pressure for the machine -- the foaming was so severe we had to keep a pallet of liquid absorbent on hand to capture the coolant that spilled onto the floor.”

It got worse.  When running at 500 psi, there was not sufficient pressure to keep the cutting area free of metal chips. As metal chips accumulated in the chuck, the robotic arm could not safely engage and grab the finished part. They had to shut down production frequently to clean out chips manually and wait for the foam to dissipate.

LB Pipe’s multi-million dollar investment in new technology was beginning to look like a disaster.

Total Shutdown of Production”

“Basically, the foaming coolant caused a total shutdown of production with this equipment,” said Legg. “We couldn’t use the machine unless we could get rid of the foam.”

The original coolant supplier recommended adding defoamer. When first added to the tank, it seemed to help, but within two hours the foaming was as bad as ever.

OKUMA called in experts that included ChipBlaster and several tooling manufacturers. Together, they spent many hours working around the clock with LB Pipe’s engineering team and operators to find the solution.

Antoun made several modifications to the ChipBLASTER unit, which included rerouting the coolant output and return lines, pump and tank modifications, piping alterations, tooling changes and nozzle configurations. None of these things helped.

After extensive trouble-shooting, they concluded the foam was forming at the at the point of cut. New tools were installed, but the foam persisted, and chips continued to accumulate in the chucks.

Finally, Antoun suggested they bring in an expert from QualiChem, a manufacturer of high-performance metalworking fluids based in Salem, Virginia. “We see lots of foaming, and I was very confident in recommending QualiChem because their products had never failed to solve any of the foaming issues we had encountered in the past.”

A call was made to Jerry Peck, Executive Sales Engineer for QualiChem, who drove 300 miles through the night to arrive on site the next morning. He assessed the situation and recommended XTREME CUT 250C, a premium heavy-duty semi-synthetic coolant formulated specifically to optimize tool life and surface finish in high-pressure applications.

 They charged one of the ChipBLASTER CV-50s with the QualiChem coolant, and started up the production line. They were immediately able to begin increasing the pressure.

After seven hours of production at 1,000 psi, the machine running on QualiChem had no foam and no chip build-up. The other machine, running at 500 psi with the previous coolant, was overflowing with foam, and chips were still accumulating inside the chuck. The decision was made to immediately clean out the second machine and recharge with the QualiChem XTREME CUT 250C.

“The difference is dramatic. Coolant is no longer a problem with the ChipBLASTER equipment. Foaming and chip accumulation have been totally eliminated.” said Antoun.

“Almost Unbelievable”

“The report back from Jim Legg was almost unbelievable,” said Rick Kimmins of OKUMA. “The result of changing coolant made a night-and-day difference in terms of better chip control and decreased downtime.  LB Pipe was able to immediately run production at the machine’s full design capacity which also improved tool life by 300 percent.”

“Shortly afterward, we invited QualiChem as a metalworking fluid manufacturer, to join the select group of experts in our Partners in Thinc program.  This allows us to leverage their expertise and knowledge to solve coolant problems experienced by our customers,” Kimmins added.

“Jim Legg’s story dramatically illustrates the critical importance of coolant selection,” said Mike Forest, QualiChem Director of Metalworking. “Traditionally the coolant industry has formulated with defoamers to combat potential foam issues.  Defoamers do not address the root cause of foam with coolants, Instead; defoamers adjust the surface tension and make the bubbles break faster. With high pressure coolant applications, defoamers cannot dissipate the bubbles quickly enough to prevent foam problems. According to Glenn Frank, President of QualiChem, QualiChem has developed new coolant technology to address the root cause of foam which results in coolants that do not rely on defoamers as a “band aid”. QualiChem’s new coolant technology results in a premium line of cutting and grinding fluids that can run at 1000 psi In deionized water without foam.  

”This experience taught me an important lesson,” said Legg. “When purchasing coolant, most people look at the price and buy the least expensive product available.  I’ve learned it’s worth the money to use a quality coolant in terms of long-term savings.”

Antoun echoed the same feeling. “There’s an education gap out in the metalworking marketplace. It’s important for companies to understand that the coolant really does matter, especially as more and more manufacturers are moving to high pressure applications.”

QualiChem to Showcase Premium Foam-Free High-Pressure Metalworking Fluids at IMTS 2014
June 18, 2014

QualiChem to Showcase Premium Foam-Free High-Pressure

Metalworking Fluids at IMTS 2014

SALEM, Va. – June 16, 2014 – QualiChem will feature its premium cutting and grinding fluids for high-pressure applications at IMTS 2014, in Chicago, September 8-13.

QualiChem’s XTREME series of premium metalworking fluids have been formulated to overcome the problems that often occur with high pressure fluid delivery systems.  These fluids are designed to:

  • Eliminate foaming
  • Minimize downtime and maximize productivity
  • Improve surface finish and over-all part quality
  • Extend tool life
  • Reduce coolant usage by 25 – 60%

“Our XTREME series of premium metalworking fluids are designed to help users get the most out of their cutting and grinding processes with high-pressure coolants,” said Mike Forest, Director of Metalworking. “We are seeing significant increases in the occurrences of foam as a result of more machine tools taking advantage of the benefits of high pressure.  Metalworking fluids that foam reduce the efficiency of the machining process as well as increase operating cost due to machine downtime, increased coolant usage and decreased tool life. We see numerous incidents of high speed automated machines working at a fraction of their design capacity because their metalworking fluid foams at high pressure. The technology advances in QualiChem’s XTREME series of metalworking fluids result in low to no foam in all high pressure applications whether it’s ChipBlaster, MP Systems, CoolJet or other high pressure equipment manufacturers. That’s why we’re putting a special focus on our high-pressure metalworking fluids at IMTS 2014.”

“We have numerous case studies documenting measurable cost savings and productivity gains from switching high-pressure machines to QualiChem fluids,” added Forest. “For instance, in one field test, QualiChem XTREME CUT 292 was found to double tool life, reduce coolant usage by 77 percent, cut downtime for tool changes by over 50 percent and eliminate foaming, staining and residue, when compared to another popular brand of water-based cutting fluid.

If you want the most out of your machine tool investment, we invite you to come to Booth N-7227 at IMTS and let our experts show you why ”The Fluid Matters.”

QualiChem manufactures a complete line of metalworking fluids including cleaners and rust preventatives.

About QualiChem

Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, Va., QualiChem is the fastest-growing fluids manufacturer in the metalworking industry. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes synthetic, semi-synthetic and soluble cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, metal cleaners and corrosion preventatives. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008 company and a zero-discharge facility. For more information, visit


Michigan Manufacturer Switches All of Its Metalworking Fluids to QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C
March 26, 2014

BTM Corporation Reduces Coolant Usage and Waste Removal Costs by
50 Percent with QualiChem Semi-Synthetic Fluids

SALEM, Va. – March 20, 2014 – BTM Corporation, a Michigan-based manufacturer of clinch joining systems, automation components and contract machine work, has reported substantial savings in coolant usage and waste removal costs after switching its aluminum and steel machining operations to run on QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C semi-synthetic metalworking fluid. 

Michigan Petroleum Technologies, QualiChem’s distributor in lower Michigan, oversaw the six-month trials in which BTM compared XTREME CUT 251C against the fluids it had been using.

“The results of the trials on four machines spoke for themselves,” said Richard Seim, executive vice president of Michigan Petroleum Technologies. “Coolant usage and waste removal costs were down 50 percent, and machine operators reported total elimination of noxious odors. Altogether, the total documented hard savings resulting from reduced coolant usage and waste removal costs added up to more than $47,000 in 2013.”

Dave Lamb, BTM manufacturing manager, said: “BTM has an intensive coolant maintenance program and Michigan Petroleum stated that we should be able to lower consumption and the maintenance cost using QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C. We tested several coolants and found that Michigan Petroleum was correct. We lowered our coolant consumption, maintenance cost, and waste coolant disposal cost using XTREME CUT 251C.”

“I like the cleanliness, clarity and machinability of the QualiChem XTREME CUT 251C,” said Tony Weber, BTM milling supervisor. “There is minimal maintenance and operator acceptance has been excellent.”

Dick Kleinknecht, lathe supervisor at BTM, said, “I’ve experienced excellent results with XTREME CUT 251C. The product does not have an undesirable odor and is very easy to maintain.”

“At QualiChem, our strategy for success is dependent on our superior technology and outstanding distributors like Michigan Petroleum Technologies,” said Mike Forest, director of metalworking at QualiChem. “They brought to the table a deep understanding of their customer’s needs and challenges, combined with their technical expertise and knowledge of QualiChem’s product lines. The result is a solution that dramatically reduces BTM’s operating costs, extends tool life, produces cleaner finished products and improves operator satisfaction on the job.”

About BTM Corporation
Based in Marysville, Mich., BTM has over 45 years experience in manufacturing technology. The company has become a leading global supplier of clinch joining technology and other unique automation and manufacturing devices including clamps, grippers, locators, end arm effectors, stand-alone machines and fully automated assembly systems. The company’s facilities are ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 Rev. B:2004 certified. For more information, visit and
About Michigan Petroleum Technologies
With a history dating back into the 1930s, Michigan Petroleum Technologies is a wholesale distributor of industrial lubricants, machining fluids and related services based in Port Huron. Its service area covers the entire Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The company has been a QualiChem distributor since 2008. For more information, visit

About QualiChem
Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, Va., QualiChem is the fastest-growing fluids manufacturer in the metalworking industry. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes synthetic, semi-synthetic and soluble cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, metal cleaners and corrosion preventatives. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008 company and a zero-discharge facility. The company is privately held. For more information, visit

XTREME CUT 251C is a premium semi-synthetic cutting and grinding fluid formulated for ferrous and non-ferrous machining applications. It contains extreme-pressure and high-performance additives to further improve tool life and part quality. XTREME CUT 251C provides excellent corrosion control for ferrous metals, has a tight emulsion to promote tramp oil rejection, exhibits excellent hard water stability, runs clean and has excellent bioresistance. It is non-foaming, which makes it very suitable to use in high-pressure through the tool feed systems. It utilizes state-of-the-art raw materials to prevent the rotten egg odors associated with most soluble oils and semi-synthetic fluids. It is also formaldehyde-free.

EQO-PURE 452 New Product Introduction
March 11, 2014

QualiChem Introduces Vegetable-Derived Metalworking Lubricant Designed to Provide Highest Possible Lubricity in a Water-Based Fluid

SALEM, Va. – Feb. 12, 2014 – QualiChem, a rapidly growing manufacturer of metalworking fluids, today announced the introduction of EQO-PURE 452, a new vegetable-based water-soluble lubricant for severe hardened steel and stainless steel machining applications.

EQO-PURE 452 is a heavy-duty vegetable-derived micro-emulsion fluid with extreme pressure additives formulated to improve tool life and part quality while eliminating foaming and staining. EQO-PURE 452 is designed for use in many applications that previously used straight oil, including boring, deep-hole drilling, gun drilling, reaming, roll forming, tapping and threading.

“This new synthesized vegetable-based lubricant is the highest performing water-based metalworking fluid on the market,” said Mike Forest, QualiChem director of metalworking. “It offers the performance of a vegetable oil without the heavy residues and emulsion instability found in other products. EQO-PURE 452 forms a stable emulsion and runs exceptionally clean, offering unmatched tool life and long service life. It’s proven to give unsurpassed machining performance while maintaining hydrolytic stability.”

EQO-PURE 452 is formulated for use on ferrous or non-ferrous metals where high levels of boundary and extreme-pressure lubrication are required. It provides excellent corrosion control for ferrous metals and machine tools. Its bioresistant qualities result in long fluid life in both central systems and individual sumps without biocides.

QualiChem’s metalworking fluids are available through a worldwide network of more than 50 distributors. The company offers a broad selection of fluids for all types of metalworking applications. QualiChem provides extensive technical support for customers in selecting the right product to solve specific metalworking challenges. QualiChem also offers customized laboratory support services for trend analysis and troubleshooting.

About QualiChem

Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, Va., QualiChem is the fastest-growing fluids manufacturer in the metalworking industry. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes synthetic, semi-synthetic and soluble cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, metal cleaners and corrosion preventatives. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008 company and a zero-discharge facility. The company is privately held. For more information, visit

QualiChem XTREME CUT 292 Press Release
January 21, 2014

QualiChem Introduces New High-Performance Cutting Fluid for Difficult Machining Applications. XTREME CUT 292 Developed Specifically for Difficult Alloys

SALEM, Va. – Jan. 9, 2014 – QualiChem has expanded its XTREME CUT family of premium water-based metalworking fluids with the introduction of XTREME CUT 292.

XTREME CUT 292 is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of working with difficult alloys such as titanium, Inconel and stainless steel. The new lubrication technology in XTREME CUT 292 has demonstrated significant cost savings to aerospace customers as a result of improved cycle times and tool life, particularly when machining exotic alloys. This fluid delivers additional savings because low drag-out rates reduce coolant usage, and extended sump life improves productivity and reduces disposal cost. XTREME CUT 292 eliminates foaming, staining and residues. This new technology provides better lubricity than traditional heavy-duty soluble oils. XTREME CUT 292 is formulated with the safest metalworking chemistries, which provide a product with a low toxicity profile resulting in a fluid that is safe for end users and the environment. “XTREME CUT 292 is designed to be the highest performing oil-based emulsion cutting fluid on the market today,” said Mike Forest, QualiChem’s Director of Metalworking. “In initial field trials, XTREME CUT 292 was found to double tool life, reduce coolant usage by 77 percent, cut downtime for tool changes by over 50 percent and eliminate foaming, staining and residue, when compared to another popular brand of water-based cutting fluid. The result was an estimated annual projected tool life savings of $39,060 for a single machine running XTREME CUT 292.” Tests also reveal that XTREME CUT 292 can replace straight oils where other water-dilutable products have failed.

XTREME CUT 292 is sold through QualiChem’s worldwide network of more than 50 distributors. QualiChem provides extensive technical support for customers in selecting the right product for specific metalworking applications, as well as customized laboratory support services for trend analysis and troubleshooting.

About QualiChem
Established in 1989 with headquarters in Salem, Va., QualiChem is the fastest-growing fluids manufacturer in the metalworking industry. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes synthetic, semi-synthetic and soluble cutting and grinding fluids, straight oils, metal cleaners and corrosion preventatives. QualiChem is a quality-focused ISO 9001:2008 company and a zero- discharge facility. The company is privately held. For more information, visit

There's a New QualiChem Product in the "Mix
October 15, 2013
QualiChem has added a “price sensitive” economical synthetic metalworking fluid called Q-COOL 322.  Q-COOL 322 was developed to help you compete against local, low cost blends by providing a reliable product designed for less critical machining applications.
Q-COOL 322 has slightly less lubrication than Q-COOL 330.  Q-COOL 322 retains all of the positive attributes of our Q-COOL line including excellent oil rejection, low foaming, corrosion protection, cleanliness and bio-resistance. Please contact your local Sales Engineer or the QualiChem Marketing Department with any questions.
QualiChem Distributor Achieves Major win with Cutting & Grinding Fluid Selection Survey Form and EXTREME CUT 292
September 17, 2013

Recommending the right C&G Fluid can be challenging. Simply cross referencing the current product to the closet QualiChem product can be problematic because the shop may not be using the right fluid to begin with. What is needed is a complete analysis of the application, and that is where QualiChem's Cutting & Grinding Fluid Selection Survey Form comes in. It's designed to collect all the necessary data needed to make the best recommendation.

Recently, Jenn Bouwkamp, QualiChem’s midwest field rep, received a C&G Survey from a distributor in the midwest regarding a highly specialized machine shop in Northern Indiana. The shop specializes in machining exotic alloys such as Inconel, Titanium and Stainless, for precision medical and surgical applications, high performance transportation, industrial equipment and other industries. They had been using Hangsterfers Neosol 400 in their Star Machines but needed to improve their finishes. They were also hoping to increase tool life and reduce costs.

"When I received the C & G Fluid Selection Survey Form from our distributor working with the shop says Jenn, it gave me everything I needed to make a recommendation. There are lots of variables and it’s easy to miss something. But the form is a great tool and it gives us all the information we need to make the best recommendation. Based on the information provided in the Cutting & Grinding Fluid Selection Survey Form, it was clear that the QualiChem XTREME CUT 292 would be the perfect choice".

The Customers Actual Results

  • Tool life improvement of 100%.
  • Off-Sets were reduced by 93.75%. "Now at 2-3 off-sets per day vs. off-sets every ten minutes" with prior product.
  • Residues were eliminated. The prior product was causing significant yellow staining and residues, as well as peeling paint inside the machines.
  • Foam was eliminated. The prior product had a severe tendency to foam, resulting in safety issues related to slip / falls, increased housekeeping due to frequent floor and machine clean-ups, as well as costly downtime and maintenance.
  • Consumption was reduced by 77%. Their Trial Star Micronics machine had a usage rate of 22 gallons per month with the Hangsterfers Neosol 400. This has been reduced to 5 gallons of QualiChem XTREME CUT 292 per month, which results in a 17 gallon/month reduction in concentrate usage or a 23% reduction.

Want to get results like these for your customers? The place to begin is with the Cutting & Grinding Fluid Selection Form. Ask your customer if they’re happy with the finishes and tool life they're getting. When they cringe, break out the Form.

XTREME CUT 292 Product Data Sheet
Download Cutting & Grinding Fluid Selection Survey Form
Online Cutting & Grinding Fluids Selection Survey Form

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