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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #1
clint357
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Default cryogenic treatment of metals

I was just at Precision Wire near Grand Rapids and the guy there (Frank) was telling me about how they do cryogenic treatments on a lot of axle shafts, T-case gears, Engines, tranny gears, ect. Does anyone on here have experience with the results of this process? I think they charge around $7/lb.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Google it. Plenty of info - more than I can convey to you on a public forum.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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Google it. Plenty of info - more than I can convey to you on a public forum.
Yeah, but most of it is by people pushing products and services. I was wondering if anyone had any "real world" experince with it.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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sigh.

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Cryogenic processing

The field of cryogenics advanced during World War II when scientists found that metals frozen to low temperatures showed more resistance to wear. Based on this theory of cryogenic hardening, the commercial cryogenic processing industry was founded in 1966 by Ed Busch. With a background in the heat treating industry, Busch founded a company in Detroit called CryoTech in 1966. Though CryoTech later merged with 300 Below to create the largest and oldest commercial cryogenics company in the world, they originally experimented with the possibility of increasing the life of metal tools to anywhere between 200%-400% of the original life expectancy using cryogenic tempering instead of heat treating. This evolved in the late 1990s into the treatment of other parts (that did more than just increase the life of a product) such as amplifier valves (improved sound quality), baseball bats (greater sweet spot), golf clubs (greater sweet spot), racing engines (greater performance under stress), firearms (less warping after continuous shooting), knives, razor blades, brake rotors and even pantyhose. The theory was based on how heat-treating metal works (the temperatures are lowered to room temperature from a high degree causing certain strength increases in the molecular structure to occur) and supposed that continuing the descent would allow for further strength increases. Using liquid nitrogen, CryoTech formulated the first early version of the cryogenic processor. Unfortunately for the newly-born industry, the results were unstable, as components sometimes experienced thermal shock when they were cooled too quickly. Some components in early tests even shattered because of the ultra-low temperatures. In the late twentieth century, the field improved significantly with the rise of applied research, which coupled microprocessor based industrial controls to the cryogenic processor in order to create more stable results.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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Thanks. That's all I wanted was the history of it. Not input from people who have had first-hand experience with it, as I stated above.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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is that 7/lb for heat treating and cryogenic treating or just one or the other? from my short amount of research done on it, cryogenic treating alone doesnt do much unless you heat treat the material and then go right to cryo treatment as if the whole process is one long process and not two individual processes. makes sense?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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is that 7/lb for heat treating and cryogenic treating or just one or the other? from my short amount of research done on it, cryogenic treating alone doesnt do much unless you heat treat the material and then go right to cryo treatment as if the whole process is one long process and not two individual processes. makes sense?
That is exactly what our heat treaters tell us. If it's an after thought it does very little if not nothing. I've had specific questions about sending them my axle shafts & they tell me I will be wasting my time and money. However, they also tell me there are some snake oil salesmen out there.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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actually they charge 5 or did a few weeks ago

i posted that in general tech
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #9
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I was just reading about a place called 300-below that guarentees 2x the life of brake rotors. They said that they see between 250 and 400% increase in life.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 95geo View Post
is that 7/lb for heat treating and cryogenic treating or just one or the other? from my short amount of research done on it, cryogenic treating alone doesnt do much unless you heat treat the material and then go right to cryo treatment as if the whole process is one long process and not two individual processes. makes sense?
Not saying that it's not true, but that doesn't make sense to me. you have to slowly cool the metal, so why would it matter if it stays at one temp for an extended period? Back to research.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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heat/cold treating the metal changes the grain boundaries / internal structure - and the results depend on how long at what temp - including "room" temp. Stop the process halfway and it is not the same as continually cooling on the way down from being hot.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #12
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The trick is to have as little retained austenite as possible. As scooter said, you have a specific timeframe to transform from austenite to martensite. Once the material has stabilized, whatever retained austenite you have is what you have and it's virtually impossible to start the process back up.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by clint357 View Post
Not saying that it's not true, but that doesn't make sense to me. you have to slowly cool the metal, so why would it matter if it stays at one temp for an extended period? Back to research.
Dont argue with me, argue with the metallurgists who developed these processes.

"The transformation from austenite to martensite is mostly accomplished through quenching, but in general it is driven farther and farther toward completion as temperature decreases. In higher-alloy steels such as austenitic stainless steel, the onset of transformation can require temperatures much lower than room temperature. More commonly, an incomplete transformation occurs in the initial quench, so that cryogenic treatments merely enhance the effects of prior quenching."

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryogenic_tempering
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #14
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I know race teams pay plenty of money to have their brake rotors cryo treated. Race teams usually don't spend money on stuff that doesn't offer some type of benefit for them.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #15
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I know race teams pay plenty of money to have their brake rotors cryo treated. Race teams usually don't spend money on stuff that doesn't offer some type of benefit for them.
But what is the material of a brake rotor versus an axle shaft? I think it is 2 different materials & 2 different processes. And do they do it after the fact or during the initial manufacturing process?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #16
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But what is the material of a brake rotor versus an axle shaft? I think it is 2 different materials & 2 different processes. And do they do it after the fact or during the initial manufacturing process?
Metal?

I can't speak for the specifics on the material themselves. IIRC, the cryo process is done after the initial manufacturing process.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #17
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I know of the company 300 below, but have not used them before. I am familiar with cryogenics because I have had many cryogenic machines in my work history. Now I can not speak the the results, if used on metal. I have only read different studies on the practice. Cryogenics can be used on many different materials to change the overall properties of the material. When an object is supercooled to a level below its Tg point, it can change the way the molecules interact with each other. Sometimes not allowing molecular chains to move as freely as they did before. I would not be surprised if there were benefits on doing this to metal.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #18
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I know of the company 300 below, but have not used them before. I am familiar with cryogenics because I have had many cryogenic machines in my work history. Now I can not speak the the results, if used on metal. I have only read different studies on the practice. Cryogenics can be used on many different materials to change the overall properties of the material. When an object is supercooled to a level below its Tg point, it can change the way the molecules interact with each other. Sometimes not allowing molecular chains to move as freely as they did before. I would not be surprised if there were benefits on doing this to metal.
There ARE benefits to doing it on metal. That's not the point. The point is that if you send out your old parts to be cryoed, will be be beneficial?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #19
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There ARE benefits to doing it on metal. That's not the point. The point is that if you send out your old parts to be cryoed, will be be beneficial?

I am not sure why old or new would make much difference with metal, it doesn't with other materials.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #20
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A solid study
http://www.nitrofreeze.com/AirProduc...ch%20Paper.pdf
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