15 Cryo Parts Necessary for Cryogenic Hardening
- November 29, 2020
- Controlled Thermal Processing
- Cryogenic Processing
There’s a lot that goes into cryogenic hardening. It’s not all just cryogenic liquids. Specialized equipment and parts are necessary to achieve the desired results. Given the extreme temperatures involved, it’s important for all of the parts being used to hold up to a certain standard.
This is to ensure that the efficiency of the process can be maintained and also to mitigate the health and safety risk for workers. High quality parts are not enough. The workers that use those parts and components need to be properly trained as well.
Parts essential to the cryogenic hardening process
There’s a large number of parts that are absolutely essential to the cryogenic hardening process. Without them, it would not be possible to achieve the desired outcomes.
Customers who want to take advantage of the process should have knowledge of these parts so that they can have discussions with their service provider from an informed point of view.
- Dewars – Vacuum insulated Dewars are essential to the cryogenic hardening process. They can greatly increase the time over which the contents inside can remain cooler than the surroundings.Sir James Dewar is the inventor of the Dewar flask, creating it in 1892 with two flasks placed one inside the other and then joined at the neck. The gap between these two flasks creates a near vacuum that can reduce heat transfer by conduction or convection significantly.
- Cryogenic processors – Cryogenic processors add a layer of accuracy to the entire process as they allow for much more granular control over temperature and other variables. Before they were used, there wasn’t really a method to accurately control many different aspects of the job.Cryo processors make that possible. They can be used to get precise readings of the temperature and pressure. They can also automate the pumping process of cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen to sustain or increase temperature, as the case may be.
- Vacuum jacketed piping – Cryogenic liquids can’t just be transferred using normal pipes. That’s because of the extreme temperatures that would cause pipes made out of most materials to crack. Vacuum jacketed piping is an important cryo part.It’s the preferred solution for the safe and reliable transfer of cryogenic liquids.The vacuum jacketed piping is generally used to enable the transfer of cryogenic materials from the storage tanks to the final use point. Service providers can help customers with technical assistance for custom pipe design and also provide other necessary fittings.
- Cryogenic valves – Much like pipes, a standard valve isn’t suitable for cryogenic applications. The cryogenic valves are specifically designed to be used at very cold temperatures.They’re fundamentally different from conventional valves because of their ability to work in temperatures as low as -320 degrees Fahrenheit and even at pressure ratings as high as 750 psi.The valves are kept in a natural closed position. This is done to keep the cryogenic gasses safely contained. The value is designed to react to high pressure when then pushes it open and allows the liquid to flow through.
The open flow continues until the pressure decreases at which point the value will close to prevent any leakage.
- Cryogenic couplings – The cryogenic couplings are also designed for use at extremely low temperatures. They’re made of a hose unit and a tank unit out of stainless steel. These couplings are used for applications like container discharge, fuel bunkering, and more.The operation is in a single action using a forward turning motion to connect the couplings in order to open the flow path. Cryogenic couplings are available in a variety of sizes, depending on the nature of the application they’re required for.
- Cryogenic solenoids – These are the solenoid on/off valves for cryogenic liquids like liquid nitrogen and oxygen. The valves are built to withstand extreme temperatures and are cleaned and bagged for high-purity applications.The cryogenic solenoids operate on electricity to start and stop the flow automatically.All cryogenic solenoids are normally closed unless they’re actuated. This requires an actuator to be mounted directly on the valve body to reduce wear by minimizing movement.
- Foam insulated flex hoses – Foam insulated flex hoses are also widely used in cryogenic hardening processes as there are significant benefits to be derived from them. The insulation helps reduce the absorption of water, air, and gas.They also provide a layer of protection for workers that may come into contact with the hoses. The insulation ensures that there’s a minimal risk of skin damage if they happen to make contact.
- Cold Traps – Cold traps are used in vacuum pumping systems to remove contaminants like water or to prevent pump backstreaming. They work by sublimating a gas molecule to the solid phase and bypassing the liquid phase in the process.The gas then crystallizes on the cold metal surface, appearing as “frost” on the trap.Cryogenic cold traps use liquid nitrogen as the chilling material to provide the temperatures necessary for cold trapping. The process of trapping water or oil is complete and irreversible at liquid nitrogen temperatures.
- Keep-full devices – To ensure an uninterrupted, instantaneous supply of cryogenic liquids, keep-full devices are used. They have an internal mechanical float that can drop to allow the accumulated gas to vent.After all of the gas has vented, the float will rise to seal off the vent orifice. This simple part needs no field adjustments, pneumatics, sensors, or electronics. Keep-full devices are to be installed at system highpoints.
- Cryogenic subcoolers – Maintaining cryogenic liquids in large storage tanks for extended periods can be a challenge so the subcoolers were created to provide ease of use. They allow for prolonged storage in large tanks by removing heat from the cryogenic liquid.This is done by subcooling the liquid below its normal boiling point. All gas is thus removed to ensure that no gas will subsequently form for some time after it exits the subcooler.
- Liquid level controllers – Liquid level sensors need to be specially developed for cryogenic applications. They need to be manufactured from metals that can withstand cryogenic temperatures and also need to have an operating method that isn’t adversely affected by the temperatures.Non-contact sensors are ideal in this scenario.Liquid level sensors ensure the proper function of cryogenic systems. Capacitive liquid level sensors are the widely used solutions for cryogenic applications as they have no moving parts. They can also be easily fabricated from stainless steel components.
- Dipsticks – These tubes are used to measure the level of liquid helium storage dewars that can be accessed from the top. The tubes or dipsticks are often battery operated so they’re very easy to use. With ultra-low helium consumption, they can provide outstanding accuracy and repeatability.
- Cryo tanks – Cryo tanks are necessary for the storage of cryogenic liquids. They can be of varying capacities, depending on the application, ranging from table top to industrial sized tanks for storage of massive quantities. They’re also necessary for the safe and reliable transportation of cryogenic liquids.
- Heating elements – Some materials may need to be heated up to a high temperature after being cooled down to cryogenic temperatures. This is done to make the changes to the crystalline structure of the metal permanent.Heating elements are thus required to not only gradually bring the temperature back of the metal up to room temperature but to also increase it to a high enough level that effectively locks in the benefits of the cryogenic treatment.
- Cooling bath – Metals need to be submerged in cryogenic liquids for deep cryogenic treatment. This is done in a cooling bath that contains materials like liquid nitrogen. Deep cryogenic treatment doesn’t just involve merely dipping the metals in the liquid.They need to be kept submerged for a prolonged period, at least 24 hours, for the process to work its magic. This is made possible through a cooling bath that ensures that the cryogenic temperature is kept at a constant level.
CTP Cryogenics has all the cryo parts you need
At CTP Cryogenics, we use the most advanced parts and machines in our proprietary deep cryogenic treatment. The services that we provide our clients include metallurgical advising, micropolishing, and the sales of specialized equipment.
Whether you’re looking for a solution to improve your existing cryogenics setup or you need a new setup that’s built according to the needs of your business, we can help. CTP Cryogenics is a leader in the industry with more than 4 decades of experience.
We provide our services to clients across the United States from coast to coast via our three locations. Our long list of satisfied customers includes prestigious names such as NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the USPS, Remington Firearms, and more.
We continue to advance research and development in the field of cryogenics to push the industry forward.
Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics can provide you with the cryo parts that you need. We can also provide consulting to help you find the perfect solution. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, contact us today for a free quote and consultation.