By John Pownall



          In recent times there have been programs on the TV channels about the salvage and reusing of materials such as plastic, paper, and metals. The above Nottingham Company was involved in recycling many years ago.

          Manloves produced a variety of machines over the years. I recently discovered the leaflet shown on the internet. This leaflet was produced by Manloves to promote this particular machine type at industrial exhibitions and also at its sales offices in London and Rouen, France and of course Nottingham.

The machine was quite a small compact unit, probably about the size of a table. It had a thick metal drum with a removable lid. The drum was about the size of a modern washing machine drum, but it was tipped onto its back. It would have required a small crane to lift the whole drum out. This allowed the operator to load and empty the machine, but after all these years (50) I cannot remember if it was a small mobile crane that was used for the loading etc. You would not have been able to load it manually that’s for sure!

The machines purpose was the recovery of the fluid that would coat the scrap turnings produced by the machining of metals. This would be from machine tools such as Lathes and Milling machines etc. The machine operated in a similar way to that of a modern household washing machine. The drum would be made to rotate very quickly and the centrifugal force would force the fluid to the outside where it would flow out of the machines body for collection. It would not be allowed down the drains!

As an apprentice I was told that there were two main reasons to recover this often expensive special cutting fluid. The first was that during the Second World War the countries resources were very precious. The vast majority of oil had to be imported at very great cost by the merchant navy, etc. This little machine would have been quite important to the engineering companies of the time. You could not at that time cut metals quickly and obtain a good surface finish without the use of a cutting tool lubricant.

The second reason was to do with the scrap turnings being returned to the steel plants for reuse in the manufacture of new steel sheet and bars etc. But because of the war there was a need to use it ASAP. Apparently steel swarf (scrap turnings) would very often stand out in the elements to allow the cutting tool fluids to drain away. This would often take several weeks. You could tell it was ready for reuse because it would start to change colour, i.e. turn the familiar rusty brown.

               An Engineer at Manloves explained why dry swarf turnings were preferred. He said that if the swarf (scrap) was used in the wet condition i.e. coated in oils, the people at the steel mufacturers did not like it. This was because the furnace kiln would be glowing red hot and ready to be recharged with more material scrap for reprocessing. If wet oily scrap swarf was dropped straight into the furnace it could cause a sudden small explosion. This would damage the internal wall of the furnace and affect steel production.

As stated on the leaflet there was the possibility of quite a saving in both turnaround time for the reuse of the metals and also a financial saving in the recovery of the oils used to machine components.

Manloves were in the business of the manufacture of Hydro centrifugal extraction machines over many years, long before the Second World War. I believe that in some parts of the world machinery may still be in operation. Some large machines used the same centrifugal process in the extraction of palm oils.  

During my apprenticeship in the 1960s I did help to build several of these machines. Who the customers were or if they went for export I don’t remember. But I do remember that the machines were quite sturdy and well made.

I was fortunate to spot the leaflet (displayed below) on the “Graces history web” site which has an abundance of details of old machinery.

J D Pownall.


Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MANLOVE ALLIOTT CENTRIFUGAL MACHINES' page
This page was added by John Pownall on 12/06/2018.

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