Cryogenics is the study of the production and the behavior of materials at extremely cold temperatures (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K). From this area of study has spanned a vast array of cryogen treatments and research including a wide range of applications varying from industrial tooling to mechanical, automotive, and even musical applications.
In Industrial Hardening cryogen application, liquefied gases, such as liquid nitrogen and liquid helium, are used to allow for the lowest attainable temperatures to be reached. Cryogenic transfer pumps move these liquified gases to storage tanks where the freezing application is applied. This cryogen treatment has been said to increase the life of metal tools to anywhere between 200%-400% of the original life expectancy versus heat treatments.
When treating materials, such as steels, to extremely cold temperatures the cryogenic process can remove residual stresses and improve wear resistance and stabilization on the applied materials. The benefits of cryogenic treatment have been concluded to include: longer part life, less failure due to cracking, better electrical properties including less electrical resistance, reduced coefficient of friction, improved flatness, and easier machining.
Products That Use Cryogenic Processing Include:
- - Tools and industrial products
- - Amplifier valves
- - Baseball bats, golf clubs
- - Racing engines (for motor sports)
- - Firearms
- - Knives, razor blades
- - Brake rotors
- - Frozen food storage
- - Musical instruments