Effect of chemical structure of the aliphatic acid on rust-inhibiting properties and tribological behaviors of the water-based cutting fluid was studied in systematically. It was obtained that (1) the rust-inhibiting property became better with increase of the length of alkyl-chain of the aliphatic acid salts of triethanolamine. (2) The rust-inhibiting property of the aliphatic binary acid triethanolamine salts was better than that of the aliphatic monoacid triethanolamine salts. But the tribological behavior of the aliphatic monoacid triethanolamine salts was favor. Compared with base water, anti-wear and friction-reducing abilities of the soluble aliphatic acid triethanolamine salts would be improved greatly. (3) The adsorption and tribo-reaction films on the metal wear scar surface were monitored by auger energy spectrum.

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