Low Cost Minimum Quantity of Lubricant System

  • uacoopera
  • From Portugal
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

A group of researchers from a Portuguese university has developed a system of "Minimal Quantity of Lubricants" fully functional and automated. The term MQL, "Minimal Quantity of Lubricant", refers to the use of a low lubricant flow (10 to 100 mL / hr) through a high pressure fluid (compressed air). This system is an alternative to most lubrication systems used in machining operations, with both economically and ecological level advantages, contributing to sustainable manufacturing.
This system stands out for its optimal functioning, automation, low cost and good portability. It allows a good lubrication and a good cooling of the machined piece, dry chips, a cleaner desktop, thus ensuring a higher yield and environmental improvement.

New and innovative aspects and main advantages

Currently there are numerous MQL systems on the market, but their high cost contributes to their little use in machining.

The present invention proposes an innovative system, using a peristaltic pump for flow control, which allows the overall system cost to be only a small fraction of the cost of the current existing systems.

Furthermore, this invention avoids the use of the large reservoirs found in other solutions, thus reducing the system size and avoiding the use of various components. Thus, the hose pump and a single needle (syringe) can replace the system found on the market at low cost.

This low cost MQL system is fully functional and automated, uses a pressure regulator valve, a solenoid valve and implements an innovative stepper motor system coupled to a peristaltic pump head for controlling the lubricant flow that is supplied from the container. Thus the system allows a highly focused spray cloud preventing dispersion of small droplets of lubricant using a needle to introduce lubricant to the compressed air.


  • Lubricating / cooling during machining operations (turning, drilling, milling, grinding, etc.).

Intellectual property status

Patent pending.

Current development status

Functional laboratorial prototype. 

Related Keywords

  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Materials Technology
  • Industrial Manufacture
  • Cleaning (sandblasting, brushing)
  • Machining (turning, drilling, moulding, milling, planning, cutting)
  • Machine Tools
  • Industrial Equipment and Machinery
  • Other Industrial Products (not elsewhere classified)
  • Lubricants and functional fluids

About uacoopera

The University of Aveiro is a young and innovative university, which fosters entrepreneurship and technology and knowledge transfer, with expertise in a wide range of knowledge areas namely IT, Life Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Health, Environmental Sciences), Nanotechnology and Materials Science, Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics, Building, Design and Management. uacoopera is the Technology Transfer Office of University of Aveiro. This office engages in value adding activities such as start-up and spin-off creation, support to university-industry cooperation (sponsored research and consultancy services), IP protection and prosecution, licensing, marketing, among others. It covers four main interrelated functional areas – Intellectual Property Management, Licensing, Entrepreneurship, and Industry Liaison.


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