15 Cryo Parts Necessary for Cryogenic Hardening

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Cryogenic liquids exist at extremely low temperatures which is why specialized equipment is required for their transportation and storage. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just possible to store cryogenic liquids in a standard container.

Doing so would make it impossible to handle them and would also present health and safety risks to those who work with them. Cryogenic tanks are built for this express purpose.

They’re manufactured with durable materials that are able to withstand such low temperatures. Additional precautions are also built into the equipment so as to reduce any chances of leakage.

What is a cryogenic tank?

Cryogenic tanks are the containers that are used to store cryogenic liquids such as liquid nitrogen, helium, argon, etc. Cryogenic tanks are also utilized for storing gases like liquefied natural gas and nitrous oxide at higher temperatures.

It’s vital for these tanks to be thermally insulated so as to maintain the low temperatures. This is achieved through the use of a vacuum jacket. It’s vital that this component be designed and manufactured to a high specification that follows established international design codes. 

Cryogenic tanks can be of several different kinds. Static or fixed tanks are those that are used in a fixed location, such as a cryogenic processing facility. Static tanks also include the small mobile tanks that are mounted on wheels for use in labs and workshops. 

These small cryogenic tanks are also known as pressure vessels. There are non-pressurised open neck vessels called Dewar flasks available as well for use in scenarios where direct access to the cryogenic liquid is required.

It’s possible to repair cryogenic tanks but it’s not a job that just about anyone can do. Any repairs or modifications to such tanks should be carried out by a skilled repairer who performs the job in line with the design codes to which the tank was manufactured. 

They also need to be mindful of the prevailing regulations and legislation. 

Any and all repairs or modifications carried out need to be documented so that records can be kept for as long as the tank is in service.

Where cryogenic tanks fit in the cryogenic treatment process

Cryogenic tanks are integral to the entire cryogenic treatment process. Without them, it would not be possible to transport and store cryogenic liquids. So it can be said that the cryogenic treatment process wouldn’t be possible without these tanks. 

Their efficacy isn’t just limited to the storage and transport of the cryogenic materials. These tanks also play an important role in the deep cryogenic treatment process, where metals and plastics are kept submerged in the cryogenic liquids for up to 24 hours. 

As previously discussed, it’s not possible to do this with a conventional tank. There would be too many factors at play that would disrupt the treatment process. That’s what makes cryogenic tanks so vital to the entire process. Without them, deep cryogenic treatment can’t take place.

State of the industry: cryogenic tanks

There’s a fair bit of legislation that governs the industry’s use of cryogenic tanks. They have to be operated and maintained in a manner that’s in compliance of these regulations. 

Only designated competent persons are to maintain and manage the cryogenic tanks. The industry abides by these regulations. As such, static tanks are put through inspections at regular intervals. Routine maintenance and periodic formal examination is also carried out. 

The maintenance and inspection regime has to be created so that it can be ensured that the tank is in a position to allow safe operation at all periods of time between the formal examinations. 

Periodic inspection and testing is also required for transportable tanks and this can only be performed by an inspection body. These inspections and examinations have to be documented and the records have to be retained for the life of the tank. 

There’s a duty of care that the industry needs to abide by when they own or use cryogenic tanks. Responsible gas suppliers will only fill a cryogenic tank once they’re satisfied that it’s safe to do so.

Major cryogenic tank manufacturers

    • LapesaLapesa is a leading manufacturer of pressure vessels. This family enterprise was founded in 1964 and it manufactures cryogenic gas storage tanks, storage tanks for liquid fuels, and more. The company’s production facilities are located in Zaragoza, Spain.Its cryogenic tanks have two vessels, one inside the other, with thermal insulation in the chamber between them.The heat insulation is provided with an insulating material and a high vacuum that fills the chamber in between the two vessels. Greater vacuum stability is provided by absorbent material.Lapesa designs its cryogenic tanks for different working pressures from 5 – 42 bar. They’re certified according to European Directive 2014/68/EU on Pressurised Equipment.


    • Linde EngineeringLinde Engineering has been in the business of supplying cryogenic tanks for liquefied gases since 1960. It has supplied over 20,000 cryogenic tanks at the highest quality standard designs and created individual solutions tailored to customer requirements. Linde’s cryogenic tanks range in capacity from 3,000 to > 100,000 with standardized working pressures of 18, 22, or 36 bar respectively. They also comply with the European Pressure Equipment Directive. Each tank is vacuum insulated with the inner vessels and piping being made of stainless steel. The shell on the outside is specially coated while a vacuum-perlite system with a molecular sieve adsorbent is applied for robust insulation.


    • CryolorAir Liquide’s Cryolor is an expert in manufacturing cryogenic tank solutions for the transport of liquefied nitrogen, argon, or oxygen. Its Claire 3 trailers offer the best payload in their category of all stainless-steel with highly stable and optimized space occupation.Cryolor’s semi trailers are compliant with all relevant regulatory directives from the control cabinet to the chassis and axles. Its products also include swap-body/chassis tankers, isocontainers, and more. Air Liquide has decades of experience developing solutions for the storage and transport of cryogenic materials. It’s one of the leaders in the industry.


    • Auguste CryogenicsAuguste Cryogenics offers both small and bulk cryogenic tanks that can be utilized for many different applications. These tanks are available in sizes from 2,000 up to 350,000 litres with all vessels being built up to the customer’s requirements.The company’s tanks include superior vacuum technology for highest thermal performance and feature all stainless steel piping for strength and corrosion resistance.These vacuum-insulated pressure vessels are used to store cryogenic liquefied gases like nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and more.The company’s production facility is located in Slovakia and is ISO:9001 certified and in compliance with the European Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU


    • CryofabCryofab, Inc. is also among the leaders in cryogenic equipment providers. It manufactures and services cryogenic tanks and accessories aside from offering custom and standard fabrications to customers across the globe.The company’s products include cryogenic tanks, double wall vacuum vessels, cold traps, pressure vessels, vacuum jacketed piping, and more. Its cryogenic tank sizes range from 1 litre to 5,000 litres and comply with regulatory directives.Cryofab, Inc. was founded in 1971 and has since been offering its solutions to clients in the semiconductor, laboratory, medical, industrial, and other fields.


  • Wessington CryogenicsWessington Cryogenics has been in the business of manufacturing cryogenic tanks since 1984. Its products have received the stamp of approval in line with major pressure vessel code requirements.Its cryogenic storage solutions range from general purpose open dewards to mili-colded vessels for liquid nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. The company also provides spares and accessories including full automatic liquid level control equipment.Wessington Cryogenics provides repair and refurbishment services as well to repair all makes of cryogenic tanks and return them in “as new” condition.

What cryogenic tanks does CTP Cryogenics use?

Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics manufactures and sells state-of-the-art cryogenic equipment to industry leaders across the globe. Our vacuum insulated equipment is rugged and efficient, thereby lowering materials operating costs for our customers. 

The cryogenic equipment that we manufacture is suitable for any cryogenic processing application. 

Our machines have an internal heat exchanger in a vacuum insulated Dewar to provide customers with more control to achieve a consistent output. There are three different sizes on offer so you can choose the right tool for the job at hand. 

Our innovative design enables our cryogenic tempering equipment to boast the lowest use of liquid nitrogen of any available machine on the market. The permanent vacuum insulation does its job reliably and efficiently since there’s no compressor pump to fail or material to degrade.

The patented heat exchanger used in these machines relies on a completely dry process so no spray bars are required to spray liquid nitrogen on the payload. The integrated heating element also allows for tempering within the machine itself.

All of our machines come with a one-year warranty, during that period the manufacturer will supply any replacement parts needed to fix any defects in workmanship or materials at no cost to the customer. 

Get in touch with CTP Cryogenics today for a quote.

Gears are utilized in a wide variety of machines. These rotating circular components have cut teeth or inserted teeth, in gear wheels for example, that mesh with another toothed part to transmit torque. The teeth on two meshing gears have the same shape. Gears make it possible to change the torque, speed, and direction of a power source. 

The earliest examples of gears can be traced back to the 4th century BC in China. They have been around for centuries and have contributed to significant industrial growth. Have you ever taken a moment to wonder just how these gears are made?

The process that’s now widely used to manufacture gears is called hobbing. The process is used to create spur and helical gears. This is a preferred process because hobbing is both quick and relatively inexpensive.

What is hobbing?

The machining process that’s used for gear cutting on a machine is called hobbing. Hobbing machines can be considered as a special kind of milling machine. The teeth of the gear are progressively cut into the base material through a series of cuts applied by a cutting tool called the hob. 

This is a relatively inexpensive way of making gears compared to other gear forming processes and also happens to be quite accurate. That’s why hobbing is typically used for manufacturing gears. 

Hobbing machines have two skew spindles, one that’s mounted with a workpiece and the other with the hob. The angle between the workpiece and hob’s spindle depends on the type of gear being produced. 

These two shafts are then rotated at a proportional ratio that determine the number of teeth on the workpiece. The hob is fed up into the workpiece until the desired tooth depth has been achieved. 

Hobbing machines are also called hobbers and they’re available in a variety of sizes. These are fully automated machines that can be used to produce a wide range of products such as small instrument gears to industrial sized gears. 

Types of gears made by hobbing

  1. Helical gears – Helical gears are often called dry fixed gears and they offer a certain level of refinement. That’s made possible because the leading edges of the teeth are not parallel to the axis of rotation. Since the gear is curved, the tooth shape makes a segment of a helix. They are the preferred choice for machines that require high speeds or high loading.
  2. SprocketsSprockets are profiled wheels with teeth or cogs. They can mesh with a track or chain that’s passing over it. They’re different from conventional gears because the sprockets aren’t meshed together directly.Sprockets are most commonly used in bicycles, motorcycles, and cars as well as other machines that need to transmit rotary motion between two shafts.
  3. Involute gears – Involute gears are among the most popular of gear solutions today as the tooth profile of involute gears enables smooth transmission of power with minimal speed or torque.The gears that are used in higher-strength applications are mostly helical involute gears in which the spirals of the teeth are of different hands with the gears rotating in an opposite direction.
  4. Ratchets – Ratchets enable continuous linear or rotary motion in one direction only. They’re utilized in applications where it’s absolutely crucial to prevent motion in the opposite direction. A ratchet has a round gear with teeth and a pivoting, spring-loaded finger that’s called a pawl. They’re used in tools, slacklines, handcuffs, cable ties, and more.
  5. Spur gears – Spur gears can also be made through hobbing. They’re the simplest type of gear that consist of a cylinder or disk with radially projecting teeth. These gears are only able to mesh together properly if they’re fitted to parallel shafts.The tooth loads don’t create any axial thrust. These are great for use at moderate speeds but can be very noisy at high speeds. They’re commonly used in machines to increase or decrease the speed.
  6. Splines  – Mechanical splines are the teeth on a drive shaft that mesh with grooves for torque transfer while maintaining the angular correspondence between them. Their most common use is in the drive shafts of vehicles that use them for the transmission of torque and rotation.
  7. Worm gears  – A worm in this particular instance is a gear that’s in the form of a screw. They’re also called an “endless screw” and are used to reduce rotational speed or transmit higher torque. Their biggest advantage is that they can transfer motion in 90 degrees.The worm in a worm gear can have single or multiple starts and with each full 360 degree turn of a single start, the worm advances the gear by one tooth. They’re used as the tuning mechanism for musical instruments like guitars, in roller cotton gins, and other machines.

What is a gear hobbing cutter?

A hob is the cutting tool that’s used by the hobber to cut the teeth into the blank workpiece. Hobs are cylindrical in shape and have helical cutting teeth that feature grooves which run the length of the hob. 

These teeth help in cutting and chip removal. Special hobs are also designed for certain products like sprocket gears. 

The teeth on the hob have a cross-sectional shape that’s almost identical to the teeth of a rack gear that would be used with the final product. 

The slight changes to the cross-sectional shape are only required for cutting purposes but every single hob tooth is relieved on the back side in order to reduce friction.

Hobs generally tend to be single-thread hobs but it’s not uncommon for double and triple-thread hobs to be used in order to increase the rate of production. The only problem with them is that they may not be as accurate as single-thread hobs. 

General purpose and custom made hobs are both utilized depending on the nature of the project. The hobs that are made custom for a specific job are different since they are used to make gears with modified tooth profiles. 

How cryogenic hardening makes for stronger cutters

The process of cryogenic hardening has proven to deliver incredible results for metals. The same holds true for gear hobs as well. It’s possible to make stronger cutters through the application of cryogenic hardening. 

There are obvious benefits to be had in this industry. Gear manufacturers are well aware how costly their production processes are. The hobs are very likely their most costly part because they suffer the most wear and tear. 

They need to replace them constantly to ensure efficiency and reliability in the production processes. That’s because the hobs can suffer from tooth profile changes after extended use and that can have a direct impact on product quality.

Deep cryogenic treatment is rapidly becoming the preferred method to increase the durability and lifespan of gear hobs. 

Cryogenic hardening can increase the lifespan of gear hobs by up to five times. That significantly reduces the number of replacements that gear makers have to purchase each year, leading to a sizable reduction in their expenses.

The benefits of using cryogenic hardening on hobs and cutting tools is already well known. Companies that go for this treatment on their tools enjoy less downtime and reduced maintenance requirements. 

With deep cryogenic treatment, it’s possible to reduce the consumable tooling costs while also increasing the quality of products.

About CTP Cryogenics

Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics is one of the leaders in deep cryogenic processing. We use state-of-the-art equipment and our proprietary deep cryogenic treatment process to deliver exceptional results for our customers. 

The process is highly advanced and involves cooling the gear hobs down to temperatures below -300⁰F. 

It’s important to realize that the process isn’t as simple as dipping the gear hobs in a tub of cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen and considering it a job well done. 

It’s a much more scientific process that can’t be performed without specialized machinery and computers. In our deep cryogenic hardening process, the materials are kept submerged in the liquid that can be around  −320°F for up to 24 hours.

This is done to alter the crystalline structure of the metal so that it becomes a more uniform and durable construct. 

The temperature of the metal is then gradually brought back up to room temperature in order to make the changes to the crystalline structure permanent.

Heat tempering is also an important part of the process for some metals. It’s done after the submersion part of the process is completed. 

This requires that the temperature be increased gradually to around +300°F. Heat tempering is necessary to ensure that any brittleness that could have been caused during the cryogenic treatment is reduced.

CTP Cryogenics has one of the most advanced processes for gear hobs that work on both HSS and carbide hobs. This allows us to improve the performance of these tools beyond what has ever been possible. 

If you’ve been looking for a cryogenic processing solution for gear hobs, reach out today for a free quote and our highly experienced team will reach out with all of the details that you need to get the job done.

Cryogenic processing can only be performed through a highly specialized process. It’s not something that everyone is able to do, or can be done with little or no knowledge. There are so many factors in play that determine the outcome of the job. 

That’s why it’s essential to not only have the necessary skill but also the appropriate equipment. Cryogenic processing is one of those tasks that require the use of special equipment. Without it, there’s just no way to follow through with it. 

One of the main reasons why equipment is so essential to the entire process is because cryogenic materials need special handling. They pose significant risks to health and safety if improperly handled. 

What equipment do you need for cryogenic freezing?

In order to achieve the extremely low temperatures that are in the cryogenic range, special equipment needs to be used. Many people have the misconception in which they equate refrigeration and cryogenics. 

The cryogenic temperature range is defined from -238°F to −460°F, far more than what refrigerators are able to achieve.

As such, equipment that’s typically used in refrigeration applications isn’t really useful for cryogenics. The equipment that is used for cryogenics typically includes cryogenic processors, pressure vessels, cryo tanks, vacuum jacketed piping, cold traps, purifiers, transfer lines, and more.

Each component plays a vital role in maintaining the efficacy of the process while also ensuring health and safety for workers. 

Take transfer lines, for example. They allow for the safe transfer of cryogenic liquid from one place to another without risking workers to exposure.

It’s also important for cryogenic equipment to be properly insulated. This is done to keep the effectiveness of the components at a high level. 

Maintaining temperature levels is key to efficient cryogenics processing. Insulation also helps protect the workers from these dangerously low temperatures during handling. 

Dewar flasks are among the most commonly used cryogenics components. This specialized container is named after Sir James Dewar. A Dewar flask is basically a holding chamber for cryogenic liquids that’s within near vacuum. 

What it does is prevent the transmission of heat from its contents due to conduction and convection. Through the use of reflective coatings, it also minimizes the transmission of heat through radiation. 

A primer on cryogenic processors

A cryogenic processor is designed with the express purpose of reaching the extremely low temperatures in the cryogenic temperature range. It does that at a slow and sustained rate in order to mitigate the risk of thermal shock to the components that are being treated.

Ed Busch developed the first commercial cryogenic processor in the late 1960s. It revolutionized the industry as the programmable microprocessor allowed control over the machine and made it possible to follow temperature profiles closely to increase the effectiveness of the process.  

Cryogenic processing looked quite different before these processors came into service. The entire process was carried out manually by simply immersing the object in liquid nitrogen. There was no temperature control and no data for the technicians to really understand what was going on. 

This would result in thermal shock occurring in the object being treated and thereby forming cracks in the structure as the temperature would drop so rapidly. Modern cryogenic processors prevent this. 

They do that by measuring the changes in temperature and adjust the input of cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen accordingly to ensure that there are only fractional changes in the temperature over a period of time. 

This level of efficiency helps both service providers and clients. That’s because temperature measurements and adjustments of materials that have already been treated are stored in profiles. 

This way, if the process needs to be repeated at some point in the future on similar objects, it can be done so quickly and with an even lower risk of something going wrong.

Modern cryogenic processors have a three-day time window to complete a general processing cycle. They are able to reach the optimal bottom temperature within 24 hours for a product, a further 24 hold at the lowest temperature, and another 24 hours to bring the object being treated gradually back to room temperature. 

Just as dropping the temperature too rapidly can result in cracks to the structure, raising it too quickly can have adverse effects as well. It also depends on the objects being treated. 

Some may require further heat treatment in an over at higher temperatures. Many cryogenic processors are able to provide both extreme positive and negative temperatures.

Simply put, cryogenic processors have changed the way the entire process is carried out for the better. Before them, much of the cryogenics processing was basically done through guesswork. Therefore, the results would often not be up to par. 

There was also a higher rate of material loss because of it. Cryogenic processors have added a layer of accuracy and consistency that wasn’t possible before. The great thing about this is that they’re only going to improve over time. 

The latest advancements in technology have allowed for more precise and powerful cryogenic processors. They’re capable of achieving levels of precision and accuracy that wasn’t possible before, thereby making them indispensable to the industry.

Other types of Cryogenic freezing equipment

  1. Mechanical Freezers Cryogenic freezers are widely used in research laboratories for many different requirements, such as the long term storage of low-temperature scientific experiments, the preservation of cell cultures, bacteria, bone material, etc.These freezers are capable of maintaining temperatures in the cryogenic range with a relatively low energy consumption, making them suitable even for small-scale labs.There are solutions available that don’t require cryogenic liquids. Mechanical cryogenic freezers are better suited to these cases than those that require cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen.That’s because it avoids any possibility of cross contamination. For customers, there’s also an additional benefit in that they no longer need to source cryogenic liquids or invest in specialized equipment for its safe handling.
  2. Cryogenic TunnelsCryogenics is also utilized in the food industry. Certain types of products, particularly those that are prone to spoiling, need to be cryogenically frozen so that they can be shipped across continents.Cryogenic tunnels make this possible. They consist of a heavy duty belt system and gearbox that are usually reinforced to cater to heavy loads. Stainless steel is commonly used to manufacture these machines.Food freezing actually happens to be one of the most common applications of cryogenic freezing. It delivers some distinct advantages over other methods of freezing.The process is significantly faster and more flexible, it allows for freezing at much lower temperatures, and it also takes up less space.

    With cryogenic freezing, it’s also possible to minimize the dehydration of frozen items all while retaining the item’s quality, color, and texture.

  3. Cryocoolers

    Cryocoolers are suitable solutions for small systems that require the use of cryogenic temperatures but don’t necessarily need a large scale cryogenics solution. The cryocoolers are generally table-top size and have an input power of less than 20kW. Some systems even have input powers of less than 2-3 W.Cryocoolers operate much in the way that large scale systems do, in that they also rely on a cryogenic liquid and utilize moving parts to cycle the liquid around a thermodynamic cycle.The fluid used in these coolers is first compressed at room temperature and then precooled in a heat exchanged before being expanded at low temperature.This low pressure fluid then passes through the heat exchanger to precool the high pressure fluid before it  enters the compressor intake. This cycle repeats for as long as the cryocooler is being used.

Upcoming advances in cryogenic freezing equipment

It’s an exciting time in cryogenics. Major advancements are being made to further improve the reliability and efficiency of the processes. Next-generation cryogenic processors are expected to be even more precise, allowing for more control over the process and thus improving outcomes. 

A vast network has developed in the cryogenics industry over the past couple of decades. This has significantly advanced the technology and educated customers about the potential benefits of using cryogenics. 

This widespread knowledge about cryogenics has helped it transform its reputation from something of a sci fi movie object to an effective tool. 

At Controller Thermal Processing Cryogenics, we’re actively involved in shaping the future of cryogenics. We’re among the leaders in the industry, having nearly four decades of experience in cryogenics. 

We count some of the biggest companies in the United States among our clients, they include the likes of the USPS, Remington Firearms, and others. CTP Cryogenics provides its services to clients across the United States from three locations. 

Our proprietary deep cryogenic treatment is highly regarded industry wide for the benefits that it can provide. We use state-of-the-art equipment and also provide additional services to our clients. 

These services include micropolishing, metallurgical advising, and the sales of specialized cryogenics equipment. 

If you’re interested in finding out how cryogenics processing can help your business, reach out today for a free consultation or quotation and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Welding has proven to be a time tested method to permanently join two metal parts. This fabrication process has been in use for decades. It uses high heat to first melt the parts together and then once they cool, it causes fusion, enabling them to join together. Welding is far from the only method used for joining metals. 

Low-temperature methods like soldering and brazing exist, but they don’t melt the base metal, and thus can’t provide the sort of durability that welding does. 

To achieve a durable join, a filler material is used in addition to melting the base metal in order to create a pool of molten material. This then cools to form a joint that can often even be stronger than the base metal.

There are many different methods of welding metals together. Gas welding is the most common process and also happens to be one of the oldest. However, in recent years, it’s not being as widely used in industrial applications as it used to be. Many are now turning toward resistance spot welding.

What is resistance spot welding?

Resistance welding is a type of spot welding, a time-tested welding process, which joins two or more sheets of metal together without using any filler material. Pressure and heat are applied to the weld area through shaped alloy copper electrodes. 

They convey an electrical current through the weld pieces. When this is done, the material melts and fuses the sheets together and that’s when the electrical current is turned off but the pressure from the electrodes is maintained so that the moten nugget can solidify and form the joint.

Resistance welding has proven to be quite popular for industrial applications in recent years. It involves applying force to the surfaces in contact. 

The heat used for the welding is produced by the passage of electric current through the electrical resistance at and adjacent to the surfaces being joined together.

The process works by contacting copper alloy electrodes to the metal surfaces. Pressure and electric current are then applied to generate heat through the passage of current in resistive materials like low carbon steels. 

Spot welding vs. other kinds of welds

Spot welding is great for joining thinner metal pieces together while projection welding is used for projects which involve thicker metals, normally 0.035” and thicker. 

It is basically a modification of spot welding in that projection welding also uses heat generated from an electric current to join the metal pieces. The electrodes are just capable of carrying more current than spot welding electrodes.

Tack welding is a lot more different than spot welding. It’s basically a temporary form of welding which joins the two base metals together and keeps them joined for long enough for a proper weld to be done. 

Tack welds aren’t meant to hold for long periods of time. They are created by applying a series of small welding bursts across the base metals so that they keep pulled together and don’t move while the final welding work is being done.

Compared to spot welding, stud welding takes a slightly different approach to permanently join metals. It creates an electric arc between the fastener and the base metal. 

This heat melts the two together and then fuses them through return pressure. Stud welding doesn’t require high pressure equipment like spot welding does and it doesn’t require access to both sides of the material to be effective. This makes stud welding a more economical choice than spot welding in certain cases.

How strong are spot welds?

There are different methods of measuring the strength of a spot weld. Researchers define the strength of a spot weld as being directly proportional to the area of the weld nugget at the interface of the two metals being welded. 

Another method for the verification of spot weld quality is destructure testing. As the name implies, it requires the spot welds to be torn apart with externally applied force. 

This is done to break the parent metal away from the weld zone. Once the metal breaks, the weld zone is assessed for quality and its strength is quantified.

Cryogenics and resistance spot welding

Cryogenics can help improve the durability and extend the life of resistance welding electrodes. Research has shown that these welding electrodes last longer once they have been through cryogenic processing. 

The Linde Gas Division of Linde AG conducted research and also found that deep cryogenic treatment improves the life of the resistance welding electrodes. 

These electrodes tend to fail because of thermal cyclic fatigue. The contact surface starts to mushroom and that makes it bigger. This changes the welding parameters and throws precision off balance. 

This can be avoided by the deep cryogenic treatment of electrodes. The treatment has shown to enable these metal parts to last anywhere from two to nine times longer than they usually would.

How it works

The deep cryogenic treatment of welding electrodes is a new science. It does require flexibility and improvements on part of the company that’s opting for it but there’s much more value to be derived from it. 

Deep cryogenic processing works by submerging the metal parts, the welding electrodes in this case, in a bath of cryogenic material. These cryogenic materials or gases can be the likes of liquid nitrogen. 

It’s only through these materials that the temperature can be dropped down to the cryogenic range. 

Once the cryogenic temperature is achieved, the parts are kept submerged and at that constant temperature for up to 24 hours. 

This is required to make the change in the crystalline structure of the metal permanent. After that, the metal parts are brought back up to room temperature very gradually so as to seal in all of the improvements made to the metal’s structure at cryogenic temperatures. 

Resistance welding electrodes

Resistance welding electrodes are an important part of the process. The electrode material, shape and size needs to be considered to get the best welds. Other details matter a lot, such as the tip profile and cooling time. Copper alloys are used in the electrodes because that’s what makes them harder and improves conductivity.

The materials that are most commonly used in resistance welding electrodes are copper and chromium as well as copper, chromium and zirconium. These are utilized for both high-grade steels and for low carbon. 

For welding coating steels, the alloys with the better conductivity are used. These are copper and zirconium with dispersion strengthened copper. This is done due to their low contact resistance which helps not heat up the surface of the coated steel too much.

For welding hard sheet materials, a low welding current is used in conjunction with a higher electrode force. The electrodes that are made from copper, nickel, and silicon alloy tend to be harder.

Top 5 industries for resistance spot welding

  1. AutomotiveSpot welding is most commonly used in the automotive industry. That’s because it’s very effective for the steel metal that’s used in cars. It’s also preferred because spot welding can be automated with ease so robots and manipulation systems can be deployed to significantly increase the production rate in automotive factories.
  2. AerospaceSpot welding has also proven to be very useful for the aerospace industry. As you can probably imagine, the airframe of planes and helicopters experience immense stress and pressures at altitude.It’s imperative for the welding work to be strong enough in order to hold the panels together. Spot welding has been used for decades in the aerospace industry because of the durability that it provides.
  3. RailwaysA lot of metal work is done in the railway industry as well. There are a lot of load factors to consider there as well. So it becomes vital for the metals being joined together to withstand immense weight. Spot welding is utilized on railway tracks and stations for this reason.
  4. ElectronicsMicro-spot resistance welding is used in many different applications for the electronics industry. It’s particularly of note due to the delicate nature of electronics and the precision that’s required.This type of spot welding has proven to deliver great results in the electronics industry.
  5. ConstructionThe construction industry also makes use of spot welding to a large extent. It’s actually the primary joining method for metals in low carbon steel body construction.A conventional steel body-in-white has nearly 5000 resistance spot welds. It’s widespread use is because of its low cost and fast operation.

Get your resistance welding electrodes cryogenically treated

At Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics, we have found that our proprietary deep cryogenic treatment can extend the life and durability of any resistance welding electrode significantly. 

We have almost four decades of experience in cryogenics and are industry leaders in deep cryogenic treatment.

Contact us today for a free quote. If you are considering it, we do recommend that you change some of your welding parameters to extract the most benefit out of our deep cryogenic treatment.

What do you do if you want to get a custom part or product made from plastic? The part or product that you want to get made could be large or small, it may be stiff or flexible. It could also be in any number of shapes, including an unconventional shape. So how can something like that can be made possible?

For decades this has been achieved using plastic molds. The process involves shaping liquid or another pliable material through the use of a rigid frame called a mold. Once the pliable material is inserted in the mold, it takes on its shape and the part or product is created.

The process does involve having to carefully cool the hot plastic material. This is done gradually so that it properly takes on the shape of the mold. Uneven cooling or low injection pressure in the case of injection molding can result in defects in the final product. 

The quality of the molds also plays a major role in the fit and finish of the molded part.

How do you manufacture plastic molds?

There are a number of ways through which plastic molds are made. The process goes as far back as the late 1800’s when there was a need for plastic billiard balls to replace the ivory billiard balls that were commonly used at that time. 

John Wesley Hyatt invented a method to manufacture billiard balls by injecting celluloid into a mold in 1868. 

After four years, Hyatt and his brother invented and patented a machine that automated the entire process. This then became the first plastic injection molding machine. It’s method was fairly simple in that it used a plunger to inject plastic into a mold through a heated cylinder.

Modern methods of creating plastic molds are more efficient and are also capable of creating more precise molds. Rotational molding got its start in the early 1950’s when it was used for manufacturing doll heads. 

A decade later, the process was further improved to allow for the creation of large hollow containers with low-density polyethylene.

Cryogenics and plastic manufacturing — how does it work?

A number of issues can be encountered during the plastic molding process. Warping is a common defect that’s witnessed when plastic molds are created. It’s the deformation that takes place in injection molded products when different parts shrink unevenly. 

This happens during the cooling process and the uneven shrinkage puts undue stress on different areas of the molded part. The stress then results in the bending or twisting of the finished part as it cools. This can be avoided by gradually bringing down the temperature as is done in cryogenic processing.

It’s also not uncommon for vacuum voids or air pockets to appear in a finished molded product. Large or numerous voids can actually threaten the integrity of the part or product because there’s air below the surface where there should be molded material instead. 

These voids are largely caused by inadequate molding pressure and often because the material closest to the mold wall cools too quickly. This causes the material to harden and that pulls it towards the outside. 

Deep cryogenic treatment is a proven method for reducing issues that may occur during the molding process. Since the mold isn’t exposed to uneven cooling, there’s a much lower chance of warping. It also helps create a more durable product that has a significantly longer lifespan than its untreated counterpart.

Methods of cryogenic plastic manufacturing

There are several different methods of cryogenic plastic manufacturing. The six most commonly used methods are the following:

  1. Rotational 

    Rotational molding is used to create large hollow parts. It’s done by placing a powder or liquid resin into a metal mold and then rotating it in an oven until the resin has coated the inside of the mold.The mold’s constant rotation creates the centrifugal force that’s required to create even-walled products. After the mold has cooled, the hardened plastic product is removed.

  2. Injection 

    Injection molding is used to create highly precise molded parts. The process involves injecting molten plastic material into a metal mold at a very high pressure. This is done so that the plastic material can accurately take on the shape of the mold. 

    Much like the other methods of molding, once the material has been injected at a high pressure, the mold is then allowed to cool down before the finished product is removed from the inside. Injection molding is also useful for creating high volume custom plastic parts.

  3. Extrusion 

    Extrusion molding is similar to injection molding with one major difference being that it’s used to produce a long, continuous shape. The other major difference is that extrusion molding doesn’t use a mold, rather, it uses a die.The parts are made by squeezing hot plastic material through a custom die. It’s the shape of the die that then determines the shape of the final product.

  4. Blow 

    If hollow, thin-walled plastic parts need to be made, then the blow molding process is the perfect fit. The process is quite similar to that of glass blowing. The machines will heat up the plastic and then inject air to blow up the hot plastic like a balloon.The plastic is blown into a mold while it’s expanding so that it presses against the walls and takes on the shape of the mold. Once filled, it’s let to cool and harden before being ejected from the mold.

  5. Compression 

    Compression molding involves placing the heated plastic material inside a heated mold and then pressing it into the desired shape. Once the shape has been achieved after compression, the heating process is carried out to ensure maximum strength for the finished product.It’s then cooled, trimmed and removed from the mold. Compression molding is largely used for the replacement of metal parts with plastic parts.

  6. Thermoforming 

    Thermoforming requires that a plastic sheet called thermoplastic is first heated so that it becomes pliable and is then formed into the desired shape using a mold. The final product is then trimmed to achieve the desired result. 

    This process is commonly used to create disposable plastic products like lids, containers, cups, trays, and more. Thick-gauge thermoforming is also used for creating a variety of parts including but not limited to refrigerator liners, dash panels for cars, and utility vehicle beds.

How cryogenic processing works over other methods of plastics manufacturing

Cryogenic processing can be very useful in the plastic molding process. The industry itself is highly competitive and operates on whisker thin margins. This means that any downtime or delays are best avoided but that’s inevitable since it’s common to run into problems with seized pins, eroded gates or cavities.

Deep cryogenic processing can significantly reduce those risks. When plastic molds go through the process, whether they’re steel molds or made from any other metallic material, they are at a far lesser risk of runner and cavity wear. 

Extrusion screws and dies also respond very well to the treatment. Ejector pins that are cryogenically treated are also more stable in size and shape which helps fix problems where the pins stick or gall.

Industries that use cryogenic plastic manufacturing

Cryogenic plastic manufacturing is used in a large number of industries. Plastic product manufacturers rely on the process to improve the quality of their products and also to streamline their production processes. 

It’s widely used in the home appliances industry as well for products like refrigerator liners.

In the automotive industry, car manufacturers utilize cryogenic plastic manufacturing to create panels for car doors that reduce the amount of road noise that makes its way into the cabin. 

This process has proven to deliver tangible results for all plastic manufacturing industries which is why we now see a much greater adoption of cryogenics in plastic manufacturing. 

How to improve your plastic molding

Thinking about improving your plastic molding? Whether you’re just starting out in the molding business or would like to see the performance and durability of your molds increase, there’s a lot you can do right now to ensure that your business achieves greater efficiency.

At Controller Thermal Processing Cryogenics, we’re the leaders in the deep cryogenic treatment of plastic molds. We are the leading industry expert on treating metal and steel parts that are used in the plastic molding industry. 

Our clients have seen massive gains in their efficiency and creation processes. Typically, the customers have seen two to three times the life on their pins, molds, and other parts.

CTP Cryogenics has four decades of experience in the cryogenics industry. We provide our services to customers from coast to coast through our three different locations across the United States. We are committed to using the most advanced research and technology in cryogenics. 

The results of our cryogenic processes have been verified by researchers affiliated with the US Army, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

Contact us today for a free quote if you’d like to utilize cryogenic processing for your plastic molding business.

We may not find much use for them in our daily lives, but plenty of people use cutting tools on a daily basis to get stuff done. Any time you want to remove some material from a piece that you’re working on, you’ll need something that enables you to perform shear deformation.

This is where cutting tools come into play. Basically, any tool that enables you to perform shear deformation so that you can remove material from the piece you’re working on is a cutting tool. 

These can either be single-point or multipoint tools. The former is used for turning, and shaping through the use of a cutting edge. The best examples of multipoint tools are milling and drilling tools.

As you can expect, these tools experience a lot of wear and tear during the course of the job. Is there a way to increase the lifespan of these tools so that businesses that rely on them can achieve cost efficiencies? If you’re been wondering about this, you’ve got to look at carbide tools.

What are carbide tools?

Carbide tools utilize the material called cemented carbide which is an extremely hard material. These tools have very fine particles of carbide that’s cemented into a composite by a binder metal. 

The materials that are widely used for this purpose include tungsten carbide, titanium carbide, and tantalum carbide. 

However, carbide tends to be more expensive than conventional tool materials on a per unit basis. It’s also more brittle which makes it prone to breaking and chipping. That’s one of the reasons why the entire tool itself isn’t made out of carbide. 

The actual cutting tip of the tool is made from carbide, and that too in the form of a small insert, while the shank of the tool is made of another material like regular tool steel.


Rotary cutters that are used for the cutting of artificial fibres at a very high speed often use cemented carbide. Cutting through artificial fibres requires a lot of durability on part of the tool which is why carbide rotary cutters are utilized in this instance. 

We also see the use of carbide in the canning tools for the deep drawing of two-piece cans. Deep-drawing is a sheet metal forming process which involves a sheet metal blank being radially drawn into a forming die through the mechanical action of a punch. This helps transform the shape of the metal with material retention.

Woodworking tools also use cemented carbide for increased durability. The material can often be found in tools meant for sawing and planing purposes.

How deep cryogenic treatment works

The deep cryogenic processing method provides a lot of benefits as it helps significantly increase the wear resistance and lifespan of metal parts. The process involves first bringing the temperature of the metals down to below -300⁰F slowly. 

This is done to alter the crystalline structure of the metal in order to make it a more uniform and durable construct. The temperature of the metal is then gradually brought back up to room temperature so that these changes in the crystalline structure of the metal become permanent.

Deep cryogenic processing has proven itself to be very useful for industrial machinery and parts. Whether it’s applied to blades, gears, grinding wheels, or hobs, these components will maintain their quality much longer once they go through the process. 

This helps industries reduce the downtime for production and also drives cost efficiencies since they don’t have to change out their tools as frequently as they needed to.

Deep cryogenic processing of carbide tools

Studies have shown that deep cryogenic treatment is particularly useful for many types of carbide tools like cutting tools, end mills, and drills. That’s because this level of treatment alters the microstructure of tungsten carbide. 

This causes the beta phase particles in the material to increase in both size and quantity. A corresponding decrease is also witnessed in the eta-phase and y-phase particles. 

Since it increases the resiliency of the cobalt alloy which binds the carbide-composite tools together, a dramatic increase in the tool life and durability is achieved. In most cases, the deep cryogenic processing of carbide tools increases their hardness by 7%. 

It’s important to keep the carbide cool to maintain the wear resistance that’s developed by the treatment. So this does require that proper precautions be taken when using the tool once it has been through the deep cryogenic treatment.

Do different tools require different processes?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the cryogenic processing of carbide tools, or tools made from any material for that matter. In this particular instance, it’s vital to note that the specific tungsten carbide composition can vary by tool. It can also vary based on a lot of other factors. 

This then requires that several trials be first conducted. This is required so that the correct protocols for the deep cryogenic treatment can be ascertained before the process is begun. It’s important to do the job right the first time to avoid any potential problems that may be encountered in the future.

How effective is cryogenic processing on carbide tools?

Cryogenic processing has proven to be very effective for carbide tools. Take carbide hobs, for example. The tooth profile can change from extended use of the hob. 

Deep cryogenic treatment can provide better durability and a longer lifespan for this expensive tool. Research has shown that the treatment process can increase the lifespan of carbide hobs by up to five times. 

Similar results have also been achieved in studies that shed light on the benefits of using deep cryogenic treatment for carbide tools. The hardness of these tools is known to increase by 7% once they’re cryogenically treated. 

The added wear resistance that it provides can even be higher in some cases as it all depends on the actual composition of carbide in the tool. 

What happens if you use non-treated carbide tools?

The difference between tools that are cryogenically treated and those that are not is fairly easy to spot. In the case of carbide inserts, we found that both have completely different outcomes when it comes to wear and team over a period of time. 

When a treated and untreated carbide insert were both milled on the same cutter, it was immediately evident that the untreated insert had experienced significant wear at the area near the top. That wasn’t the case with the treated insert as it held up very well.

It’s easy to understand the problems that untreated tools can cause for businesses that rely on them for important jobs. You wouldn’t want a tool to be failing when you’re in the middle of the job. The company would also not like to keep spending money on new tools every other week.

That’s why so many companies are now turning to the deep cryogenic treatment process for their carbide tools. They understand that the investment made at this stage is going to pay dividends in the long run. They’re able to use their tools for longer, thereby extracting the best value out of the investment made in their tools. 

It also helps increase productivity on the job site since there won’t be as many breaks to replace tools should that be required.

Who can help with deep cryogenic treatment?

If you’ve been pondering over this question for a while, your search for its answer ends now. You’re at the right place. We at Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics are industry leaders in the field of cryogenics. We specialize in the deep cryogenic processing of cutting tools, particularly carbide tools. 

CTPCryogenics has worked on all manner of carbide tools. We have also treated gear hobs for some of the best gear makers in the industry, especially the racing industry, which has stringent durability and quality requirements for the metal parts that it uses.

Our business uses state-of-the-art equipment to enable our clients to improve the quality and increase the lifespan of everything from carbide tools to boat propellers and evening race engines. 

We have almost four decades of experience in this field and are committed to utilizing the most advanced research and technology in the field of cryogenics.

CTPCryogenics offers a variety of services to customers across the United States. This includes the thermal processing of metal parts of industrial, marine, transportation, and other sectors. 

We provide metallurgical advising to help customers improve equipment performance. Additional services include micro polishing and the sales of specialized cryogenic treatment equipment.

We have worked with companies both big and small. Some of the most prestigious clients that we have worked with include the Space Shuttle Program of NASA, the US Postal Service, Remington Firearms, Dupont, Air Liquide, and more. 

If you’d like to talk about how deep cryogenic treatment can help improve the life of your carbide tools or if you have any other query related to cryogenics, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help talk you through it all and even provide a free quote for our services.

There’s a common misconception about cryogenic temperatures. Low temperatures like ones that can be achieved by most common cooling equipment is nowhere near as low as it needs to be in order to be considered cryogenic. 

The cryogenic temperature range is defined as from −238 °F to −460 °F, which is absolute zero, the point where molecular motion is as close to theoretically possible to stopping completely.

Temperatures above −238 °F can, therefore, not be considered cryogenic. Any treatments applied at such temperatures won’t qualify as cryogenic treatment. That’s because the changes in the metal’s crystalline structure that forms the basis of this treatment can’t happen unless the metal is treated at cryogenic temperatures. 

The development of the field of cryogenics can be traced back to 1877 when oxygen was first cooled to the point that it became a liquid. 

One of the most common uses of cryogenic gas liquefaction techniques is the storage and transportation of liquefied natural gas. It’s a mixture of ethane, methane, and other combustible gases. When liquefied, it can contract significantly at room temperature and can thus be easily transported in insulated tankers.

What temperatures qualify as cryogenic?

It’s not common for us to encounter cryogenic temperatures in normal physical processes. While the freezers at our home are perfectly capable of freezing anything we throw inside them, their lowest temperature is a long way off what can be considered cryogenic.

Specialized equipment and materials need to be utilized in order to reach temperatures that can qualify as cryogenic. These temperatures are easily achieved and maintained with the use of cryogens or liquefied gases. Liquid nitrogen and helium are among the most commonly used cryogens. 

The −238 °F to −460 °F is a clearly defined range of cryogenic temperatures. As discussed previously, it’s not common to encounter such low temperatures in ordinary processes. 

They can only be achieved when using specialized equipment and cryogenic liquids such as liquid nitrogen and helium. However, there are a lot of benefits to be had when treating metals and plastics at cryogenic temperatures.

How do you reach cryogenic temperatures?

It’s not possible to reach cryogenic temperatures without the use of specialized equipment and cryogenic gases like liquid nitrogen and liquid helium. 

Only then does it become possible to lower the temperature to the range in which processes like cryogenic hardening of metals can be carried out.

Methods, tools, materials used


Two main types of tools are used to reach cryogenic temperatures. Cryocoolers and other equipment. This includes cryogenic storage racks and boxes, temperature controllers, cryogenic refrigerators, and tanks. 

The cryogenic refrigerators are particularly important as they’re used to preserve the cryogenic materials. 

In such a refrigerator, the refrigerant is circulated in a fluid flow patch between the first and second chambers. Tanks or dewards are used to store the cryogenic liquids which include liquid oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, and methane. Large quantities need to be stored.


It’s impossible to achieve cryogenic temperatures without using cryogenic gases. So what are cryogenic liquids? These are the liquids that have normal boiling points below –130°F. 

These are actually some of the most widely used industrial gases that need to be handled, transported, and stored in liquid state at cryogenic temperatures.

Something to be very careful about when handling these liquids is that they can provide very large quantities of gas when they vaporize. A simple example is that of a liter of liquid nitrogen that can vaporize to 694 liters of nitrogen gas at 68°F and 1 atm. 

They can’t be maintained as a liquid indefinitely, though, even if the containers are properly insulated.

The cryogenic liquids are all extremely cold gases with boiling points below -238°F. The boiling points for liquid nitrogen, helium, hydrogen, argon, and oxygen are -320.4°F, -452.1°F, -423.2°F, -302.5°F and -297.3°F respectively.


Handling these cryogenic liquids requires extreme care as they can immediately damage skin tissue because of the extremely low temperatures. 

As such, a highly specialized process is used when working with these liquids to ensure safety for the workers while achieving the intended objectives.

The gases are used in a cryogenic refrigeration system for the cold station, this can either be a bath of cryogenic liquid or a conductive surface that’s cooled to the bath temperature. The materials that need to be processed are then fastened to the surface.

These systems have robust insulation in order to minimize heat leaks into the extremely cooled parts. High-vacuum technology is used in this process and so are cryostats that allow for the temperature to be adjusted by adjusting the rate at which the cold gas vapor removes the heat that flows in from the room temperature.

How do cryogenic treatments help harden materials?

The cryogenic treatment fundamentally changes the crystalline structure of the material being treated. This is a result of the extremely low temperatures that the material is subjected to. This process affects the entire volume of the material so the benefits of the treatment don’t go away when the material is machined or sharpened in the future.

The retained austenite becomes martensite when the treatment is completed. These are the patterns that are present in steel and cast iron. 

Martensite is what gives steel its hard characteristic. It’s formed by heating the steel up until it forms an austenite structure and then cooling it rapidly. 

When metal is cooled quickly, more of the steel changes to martensite. However, some austenite can remain and that’s called retained austenite. 

Deep cryogenic treatment can convert most of this retained austenite to martensite.

The change of retained austenite to martensite is a result of the manipulation of the crystal structure of metals that’s caused by cryogenic processing. It helps harden materials by reducing residual stresses that may have built up during the forging or casting stages, reducing point defects, redistributing of alloying elements, and making the crystal lattice structure of the metal more uniform. 

CTP Cryogenics has got you covered

If the benefits of cryogenic processing appeal to you and you want to utilize the process for your materials, there’s a much better way than going out and spending an insane amount of resources in building your own cryogenics facility. 

Just work with a company that has decades of experience in this field and is widely considered to be an industry leader. 

That’s where Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics comes in. We have almost four decades of experience in cryogenic processing, having worked with both influential clients like NASA’s Space Shuttle program and the US Postal Service, as well as local industrial clients that are just looking to increase the lifespan of their tools and dies. 

We provide coast to coast services from our three locations across the United States and utilize the most advanced research and technology for cryogenics. 

Our services include the processing of metal parts for industrial, transportation, marine, and electronic audio applications, micropolishing, sales of cryogenic equipment, and metallurgical advising. 

We also partner with our customers to create and market superior cryogenics products. 

Reach out to us for a free quote if you’re interested in any of the aforementioned services. We’ll be happy to have a chat with you and find a solution that best fits the needs of your business.

There’s a great demand for robust cutting and milling tools. They’re widely used in industrial applications and there’s always a need for improving the durability of these tools. Given the sheer stress and temperatures that they withstand day in and day out, these tools tend to wear out pretty quickly. 

That’s why there’s a need for improving the durability and increasing the lifespan of these tools. Companies that utilize them will be able to get more mileage out of their tools before having to replace them. Imagine squeezing additional life out of a tool that’s used in large quantities by a business? The cost savings can add up pretty quickly.

What are carbide end mills?

An end mill is a kind of milling cutter that’s used for industrial milling and cutting applications. To some, it may look like a drill bit but it’s actually different in its form and function. 

A drill bit is only capable of cutting in the axial direction while most milling bits are able to cut in the radial direction. However, not all of them can cut axially. This is where end mills stand out because the mills that can cut axially are called end mills.

Carbide end mills have a matrix made up of tungsten carbide that’s held together by a binder that’s usually cobalt. They may also have a very thin end mill coating in order to further improve the cutting performance. It’s primarily the tungsten carbide that does the heavy lifting here, though.

How cryogenic treatment improves carbide end mills and other tools

Cryogenic processing is an effective method of improving the durability of carbide cutting tools. It does that by enhancing the resiliency of the cobalt alloy binding which holds the carbide composite tools together. The result is a significant increase in the tool life and durability.

What is cryogenic treatment?

At its core, cryogenic hardening or processing is the modification of a material or tool using cryogenic temperatures. It’s fundamentally different from cold treatments that only go down to temperatures of -140ºF. 

Cryogenic temperatures range from −238 °F to −460 °F. Only when these temperatures are reached can the process of cryogenic treatment begin. 

This process achieves increased durability for metals because it fundamentally changes their crystalline lattice. This lattice is set by the alloys in the metal and it also depends on the way it’s processed, cast, forged, and treated. Regardless of the production process the metal goes through, there are almost always imperfections in the final product. 

These imperfections can create weaknesses in the material that won’t even be visible to the naked eye. Through deep cryogenic treatment, the temperature of metals is dropped to as low as -450℉. This is done to achieve the theoretical correct distance between the atoms in the lattice. This forces the imperfections to correct themselves.

Other carbide tools cryogenic treatment improves

The cryogenic treatment process isn’t useful for just carbide end mills. Other tools can be put through the same process to achieve similar results. This includes the likes of carbide drills in single or multiple diameter and margin, solid or coolant through with a helical or straight flute. 

Carbide reamers are another tool that stand to benefit from cryogenic treatment. These can have straight, tapered or step designs, can be solid or coolant through with a helical or straight flute. Since they’re made of metal as well, the process will work just as well on these. The same holds true for carbide porting tools and form tools.

Comparing carbide end mills before and after deep cryogenic processing

Research has revealed that deep cryogenic treatment can significantly alter the microstructure of tungsten carbide. This causes the beta-phase particles to increase in both size and quantity. A corresponding decrease is also shown in the eta-phase and y-phase particles. 

A clear difference can be seen in the performance of carbide end mills before and after deep cryogenic treatment. Our research has shown that after processing, the hardness of these cutting tools can increase by nearly 7%. 

It’s important to take the proper precautions after the treatment since keeping the carbide cool is essential to maintaining the wear resistance that’s created by the treatment.

Similar tests on treated and untreated carbide inserts have shown how both respond to wear and tear over time. When milling both inserts on the same cutter, significant wear can be seen at the area near the top of the untreated insert compared to the one that went through deep cryogenic treatment.

Other research on cryogenic processing and metal hardening

Researchers have studied the effects of cryogenic treatment on the toughness and tribological behaviors of eutectoid steel. 

In this research, a high speed train railway material was investigated with different hardening processes applied to the steel. The effects of cryogenic treatment were investigated on the mechanical properties of the steel. 

The subsequent testing showed that the cryogenic treatment improved the toughness and hardness of quenched samples. 

The results of the ball-on-disc wear tests also showed that samples which were treated cryogenically showed better wear resistance than the pearlitic and martensitic samples.

Another study looked at the effect of cryogenic treatment of the cutting tool on surface roughness in machining of stainless steel. 

Tungsten carbide tools are commonly used for machining stainless steel. The research was conducted to see the surface roughness of the work specimen during the turning operation. 

The machining was done with deep and shallow cryogenically treated and untreated tool bits that were used in the turning process. The results showed that materials with cryogenic treatment had improved hardness.

CTP Cryogenics is the leader in deep cryogenic treatment

Deep cryogenic processing is a more advanced method that requires the temperature of metals and materials to be brought down to temperatures below -300⁰F slowly. This is done to modify the crystalline structure in order to make it more uniform and durable. These changes then become permanent when the material is gradually brought back up to room temperature.

It’s a very specialized process that requires in-depth knowledge and state of the art equipment. 

The materials have to be submerged in cryogenic materials for up to 24 hours. Many different variables also need to be managed during the process to make sure that the treatment is effective. 

Deep cryogenic treatment is something that Controller Thermal Processing Cryogenics is an expert in. We have almost four decades of experience in this field and are among the leaders in the cryogenic processing industry. 

We use our proprietary processes to help customers improve the quality and increase the lifespan of everything from tools and dies to brake rotors and boat propellers. 

Our business utilizes the most advanced research and technology in cryogenics to provide results unlike any other company. 

CTP continues to conduct extensive research in the field of cryogenics to further advance the technology. We offer our services coast to coast in the United States from our three locations. 

The services that we offer include processing of metal parts for all industries and applications, metallurgical advising, micropolishing, cryogenic processing with liquid helium, and sales of specialized cryogenic treatment equipment.

Need any assistance or have a project that you’d like us to jump right in to? Contact us today for a free quote and our team will be happy to assist you.

The chemical elements in group 18 of the periodic table are called noble gases. They’re called noble gases because they’re the most stable as they have the maximum number of valence electrons their outer shell is capable of holding. This means that they rarely react with other elements because they’re already stable.

All of the noble gases conduct electricity and they’re odorless and colorless. Previously, they used to be called inert gases but that term is not technically accurate. That’s because several noble gases do take part in chemical reactions.

One of the six noble gases, Helium, is widely used in the cryogenics processing industry. It has specific properties that make it suitable for cryogenics. 

What is Helium and where is it found?

Bearing the symbol He and atomic number 2, Helium is a colorless, non-toxic, monatomic gas that’s the first and lightest member of the noble gas group in the periodic table. 

It happens to be the second lightest and second most abundant element in the universe, second only to Hydrogen. 

A unique characteristic of Helium is that unlike any other element, it can remain liquid down to absolute zero at normal pressures. That’s due to quantum mechanics. Specifically, the zero point energy of the system is high enough to allow freezing. 

While Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, it’s actually quite rare on Earth. As such, there’s no chemical method of manufacturing Helium. 

The supplies that are being used today are obtained due to the alpha-particle delay of radioactive elements in the Earth. It was and still is being formed because of this decay.

It’s not economically viable to extract Helium from the air even though the atmosphere contains around 5 parts per million by volume. 

According to some estimates, extracting Helium from the air may cost around 10,000 times more than to extract it from rocks and natural gas reserves. The major source is natural gas which can contain up to 7% Helium.

What’s the freezing point of Helium?

While the gas does have a variety of industrial uses, cryogenics is the largest single use of liquid Helium. It absorbs around the quarter of the total production of the gas. It’s particularly used in the cooling of superconducting magnets with MRI scanners being its main commercial application.

That’s due to the fact that Helium has the lowest boiling and freezing points of any other known substance. Helium happens to be the only element that can’t be solidified or frozen at normal atmospheric pressure. 

Only once you apply a pressure of 25 atmospheres at Helium’s freezing point of −458 °F can you solidify it.

Does Helium freeze at absolute zero?

Helium behaves unlike any other element because it remains liquid down to absolute zero temperatures at normal pressures. This is entirely due to quantum mechanical effects. 

Even at absolute zero 0K temperatures, the particles have energy which is known as zero point motion. This zero point motion is significant enough that it prevents the atoms from sticking together as a solid. This is why Helium doesn’t freeze at absolute zero.

Is Liquid Nitrogen colder?

Liquid nitrogen is not colder than liquid helium. The simple fact is that that liquid helium is the coldest known material as it has a boiling point of -452°F. It also happens to be the only material that doesn’t exist as a solid, it either exists as a gas or as a cryogenic liquid. 

On the other hand, liquid nitrogen has a boiling point of -320°F but there’s another reason why it’s also widely used for cryogenic treatment. Liquid helium is significantly cheaper than Helium even though the latter is the second most common element in the universe. 

As discussed previously, extracting Helium from the air is not viable and there’s only a fixed amount available on Earth. Liquid nitrogen is inexpensive and easily available because it can be extracted from the air without incurring a great cost.

Using Helium in cryogenic treatment

Helium is used for a variety of applications in the field of cryogenics. It’s able to yield interesting properties due to its extremely low molecular weight and weak interatomic reactions when cooled below its critical temperature of 5.2K to form a liquid. 

One of the primary uses of liquid helium in cryogenics is as a coolant for superconducting applications. 

For example, it’s used in particle accelerators which use magnets to steer charged particles. Superconducting magnets are used in applications where large magnetic fields are required. 

Superconductors can only be efficient when they are kept below their respective critical temperature. 

Liquid helium then transfers heat away from superconductors. The most notable example is that of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which uses 96 metric tons of liquid helium to maintain the temperature at 1.9K.

Beyond that, there’s significant benefit to be derived from using liquid helium for cryogenic treatment of metals. Using it as a cryogen enables the process to reach much lower temperatures that would otherwise not be possible with other cryogenic liquids. 

Cryogenic helium processing is useful for relieving residual material stresses, thermal cycling of experimental materials or sensitive aerospace components, preconditioning of material, and more.  

Handling liquid helium does require great care. When being transported, the vessels and piping should be designed to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) specifications or the Department of Transportation (DOT) codes to anticipate the pressures and temperatures. 

Containers filled with liquid helium should be kept in a well ventilated storage area when they’re not in use or connected to a closed system. 

The containers should be kept vertical at all times. They should be moved by pushing, not pulling, and never tipped, slided or rolled on their side. 

Our Liquid Helium cryogenic process

Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics is a leader in deep cryogenic treatment and the thermal processing of metals and specialized plastics. 

Using our proprietary systems, we can treat a variety of metals and plastics, including but not limited to brake rotors, machine components, aerospace components, and more.

We are highly skilled in providing liquid helium based cryogenic processing of materials in addition to our other services which include sales of cryogenic equipment, micropolishing of components, and metallurgical consulting.

The process that we use is called DCT or Deep Cryogenic Treatment. It’s carried out to refine the structure of the metal or plastic into a more uniform and durable formation. 

The materials are first submerged in our cryocoolers for up to 24 hours and then slowly brought back up to room temperature to achieve a more perfect crystalline alignment. 

The DCT process considerably improves the life of metal components. Studies have shown that brake rotors that have been cryogenically treated can last three times as long, the same holds true for industrial dies and tools. 

CTP Cryogenics has three decades of experience in the field of cryogenics processing. We offer our services and state-of-the-art equipment through three locations across the United States. 

Over the years we have worked with many clients and partners that have included NASA’s Space Shuttle program, the US Postal Service, Remington Firearms, Dupont, and others.

Reach out today for a free quote for the thermal processing of metal parts with liquid helium.

There are many different methods of treating metal to improve its durability. Heat treatment is one of the most common methods utilized for this purpose. It’s carried out either to increase the metal’s softness or increase its hardness, depending on the case. The same process is also utilized to make changes to the electrical and heat conductivity of metals.

Over the years, a need has been recognized to remove the imperfections that various treatment methods can leave behind. That happens more often than not regardless of how perfect the production process may have been. 

Metals can have residual stress in them once they’re put through heat treatment, for example, so there is a need for removing those stresses.

That’s where the process of cryogenic hardening or cryogenic processing comes in. It enables a change in the crystalline lattice structure of the metal in order to increase the metal’s durability and subsequently, the lifespan of metal products like engine parts, brake rotors, industries dies, tooling, and more.

What is cryogenic hardening?

Metals are made up of atoms that are lined up in a crystalline lattice. This lattice is set by the alloys in the metal and its structure depends on the way the metal has been cast, forged, processed, or treated. Cryogenics treatment focuses on the manipulation of this lattice to improve the metal’s durability.

The flaws in the lattice structure aren’t visible to the naked eye. Nevertheless, they do create weaknesses and stress points in the metal. 

To remove these weaknesses, the theoretical correct distance between the atoms in the lattice needs to be achieved. This can be done by lowering the temperature of the crystalline structure which draws the molecules closer together and collapses the empty spaces between them to achieve the correct distance.

Cryogenic processing takes things up step further. It lowers the temperature of the materials to as low as -450℉ in order to force the structure into an even tighter alignment. The result is a vastly improved structure that lends higher durability to the metal.

The most common misconception about this process is that some believe it to be a surface coating of some sort. Cryogenic hardening isn’t the result of some coating that’s applied to the surface of the metal. It actually affects the entire volume of the part. This means that the benefits of cryogenic processing don’t disappear when the material is machined or sharpened later on.

It strikes at the very core of the metal so it affects every single atom of the entire structure. When performed correctly, it results in a reduction in point defects, the redistribution of alloying elements, and the reduction of residual stress.

5 myths about cryogenic hardening, explained

  1. Cryogenic hardening increases brittlenessA common myth that people have about cryogenic processing is that they believe it will increase the metal’s hardness, thereby making it more brittle. It likely stems from the fact that while cryogenic processing can make metals more tough, people tend to equate toughness with hardness which in this particular sense would mean brittleness.The fact is that cryogenic processing isn’t a substitute for heat treating, as such, it can’t increase the hardness of metals and parts substantially because the surface and the core of the metal is cooled very slowly and they’re kept in equilibrium.

    Since uniform residual stresses are imparted at the surface, this lends to increased durability without a significant increase in hardness.

  2. Cryogenic hardening can wear off with timeThere are many different types of surface treatments available for metals and plastics but that’s not what cryogenic processing is all about. It’s not a coating that can wear off after some time and would then need to be reapplied.Though it’s true that plating and other different coatings can be enhanced by cryogenic processing.

    A coating isn’t going to make changes to the crystal structure of metals, which is what cryogenic hardening does. It would only protect the surface of the material against elements like rust.

    It also wouldn’t do much to increase the durability of the material or to remove any residual stresses that may have been built up.

  3. Cryogenic treatment is a substitute for heat treatmentAnother common myth that many people believe is that cryogenic treatment is a replacement or substitute for heat treatment. That’s also not true. For example, the hardness of a soft tool steel can’t be increased with just the treatment. Heat treatment is a way of transforming the grain structure of the metal.Cryogenic treatment alone isn’t going to increase the hardness of the metal parts substantially. That’s why it’s utilized as an enhancement to heat treatment and not as a substitute. When it’s used in conjunction with proper heat treating, the resulting part would be better and more stable.
  4. Simply dipping the metal in cryogenic materials is enoughThe treatment process is a scientific one and as such, requires the use of specialized knowledge and advanced tools to achieve the results desired.A common myth that people have about the process is that they believe it can be performed fairly easily — that you just need to dip the material in a cryogenic material and take it out.

    That couldn’t be further from the truth. In deep cryogenic treatment, the metal is submerged in cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen for up to 24 hours. You cool the metal very gradually and then maintain the temperature at that level. Once done, you slowly bring it back up to room temperature.

  5. Cryogenic hardening is a simple process that anyone can doReading about the process does make it appear simple. What’s there to it other than basically a giant tub of liquid nitrogen or helium in which you drop a metal part and then forget about it for a day? Approaching cryogenic hardening from this perspective can be very harmful.First and foremost, cryogenic materials like liquid nitrogen require special care when being handled. That’s because they can instantly damage skin tissue because of the low temperatures.

    Furthermore, highly specific equipment is required to carry out the process. This involves, among other things, regulating the temperature and the amount of material in the cryocooler, monitoring for any leaks or issues, then gradually raising the temperature to complete the process.

How cryogenic hardening and cryogenic treatment really works

When the steps mentioned above have been carried out, the changes in the crystalline structure become permanent when the temperature of the material is gradually brought back up to room temperature. 

It goes beyond changing austenite to martensite as cryogenic processing works on materials other than steel. The change of retained austenite to martensite happens in steel and cast iron only.

Take brake rotors, for example. They are made from cast iron that’s pearlitic in structure. There’s no retained austenite but scientific tests have shown that cryogenic processing of brake rotors can increase their lifespan by up to seven times. 

Most metals respond to cryogenic processing as do some plastics. There’s also evidence to support that it works on crystals like diamonds, cubic boron nitride, and aluminum oxide.

At Controller Thermal Processing Cryogenics, we have almost four decades of experience in performing deep cryogenic treatment of metals and plastics. 

We use state-of-the-art equipment coupled with our immense knowledge in the field to deliver exceptional results for our customers. 

CTP Cryogenics has a long list of satisfied customers which include the likes of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, Remington Firearms, the US postal service, and more. Our services are available coast to coast in the United States through three different processing locations. 

Contact us today to get a free quote for any cryogenic processing needs that you may have. Our services also include metallurgical advising, cryogenic equipment sales as well as consulting.

Molds are the perfect way of ensuring that the product being casted retains the correct shape and dimensions. It’s difficult to guarantee that if you just try to wing it or try to guess just how much pliable material needs to be used to achieve the intended shape.

The simplest way to go about this and to reduce your own effort is to just use molds. It’s the same concept as using baking molds for cupcakes, for example. Molds can be used to create a wide variety of products, even those that are to be used for industrial applications. 

There are a couple of ways that can be used to make plastic molds. Again, it depends on the use case. There are highly precise methods that are better suited for industrial uses and there are also very simple methods that can be used at home to create a simple mold. It all depends on what kind of job needs to be done.

How are plastic molds made?

Molds are used in the mass manufacturing of plastic products. The mold itself is a hollowed-out block that’s filled with a pliable raw material like plastic. When the liquid sets and hardens inside the mold, it takes on the shape of the mold.

Bi-valve molding is the most common method. It uses one mold for each half of the object. In some cases, articulated molds may also be used. These have multiple pieces that are joined to make up the complete mold.

Molds are precisely made from materials like steel and aluminium. They’re precision-machined to form the specific features of the product that needs to be reproduced at scale. One-piece molds are machined when the objective is to produce simple shapes like tubes. This eliminates mold join lines in the final product. 

There are many factors that need to be considered when making a mold, and mold design is one of them. The shape of the molded part has a direct impact on the time that it would take to make the mold. It’s important to include angles on the side walls so that the plastic molding can be removed from the mold when it’s done. 

With surface finishes like embossing or etching, the aesthetic qualities of the molding can be improved. It’s vital to make sure that there are no imperfections on the finish of the mold because they will then transfer to every single molding made.

All aspects and transformations of heat treatment are considered when making a mold. Regions that have abrupt variations in the cross-section can cause warpage during heating and quenching. The machining process also introduces stresses in the material that need to be relieved. Cryogenic processing is a great way of relieving these stresses from the metal.

Professional injection-molded plastic vs. at home

Injection molding is a widely used process for creating plastic parts with metal molds. Liquified plastic is injected with extreme pressure into the mold which is then cooled with internal cooling lines and die spray on the cavities. The mold is then opened to remove the molding once it sets properly and cools down. 

There’s a lot of flexibility in the plastic injection molding process and this leads to faster production lines. It’s also possible to use different plastic and polymer materials along with filters to further increase the strength of the plastic molding. 

The finish is almost always very accurate since the extreme pressure used to inject plastic into the mold ensures that it properly takes on the shape.

Injection molding is a great way to inexpensively produce a lot of parts. There’s low labor and material costs compared to other casting methods. That’s not to say there are no costs involved. Professional-quality plastic injection molding machines and other related equipment can cost a pretty penny.

While the process is fairly simple and entirely possible to do at home, it won’t be possible to reproduce plastic moldings at scale without investing in professional quality equipment. If you just want to create a couple of moldings for a passion project then there’s little reason to consider professional equipment. 

However, if you’re selling products that require injection molded parts, then it’s always best to go with the professionals unless you have the resources available to invest in your own high-end injection molding equipment. 

Plastic molding and cryogenic deflashing

Once the liquified plastic sets into the mold and creates the molding, there may be excess material around the edges that needs to be removed. 

This is an important part of the process because the molding can’t be damaged. If it is, the reproduced part is basically of no use and it can’t be utilized. 

Exceptional care needs to be taken at this stage. To reduce manual work and increase success rates, cryogenic deflashing is now the preferred method to help in the deflashing process. In this process, cryogenic temperatures are used to help remove the flash on molded pieces. At such low temperatures, the excess material becomes brittle and breaks away from the mold very cleanly. 

Cryogenic deflashing is carried out by first loading the molded pieces into a basket. A cryogenic material like liquid nitrogen is then used to bring the temperature down significantly. 

Once the ultra low temperature is achieved, the excess material is blasted with small media pellets. In some cases, the pellets are not used and the parts are only thrown in a tumbler to achieve the intended result.

How deep cryogenic treatment works

Deep cryogenic processing works by bringing down a metal’s temperature to below -300⁰F. From there, the metal is left in a cryogenic cooler for 24 hours or more, depending on the metal and the application.

This has the effect of altering the crystalline structure of a given metal to permanently relieve any stresses that the manufacturing process may have instilled in the metal. 

It’s important to do that as the temperature needs to be brought down gradually. In deep cryogenic treatment, it’s also possible to regulate the temperature and increase the amount of cryogenic material in the cooler as per the needs of the job. 

At such low temperatures, the crystalline structure of the metal undergoes significant change. The next step is to slowly bring up the temperature in order to make these changes permanent. 

With this stage, the stresses that were introduced in the metal in the machining process are released, thereby increasing the durability of the material.

Advantages of deep cryogenic treatment for plastic molding

There’s a lot of benefit to be had by using cryogenic processing for plastic molding. This particular industry is very competitive and with razor-thin margins, those competing in this business can’t afford any delays caused by worn components, eroded gates, and seized pins. 

To minimize these issues, it’s vital to get the steel or other metallic molds cryogenically treated. This will significantly increase their wear resistance, allowing you to reproduce plastic products through the molding process with far fewer issues. 

Since deep cryogenically treated metal has more consistent hardness, it’s easier to polish and this helps save both time and money in producing and maintaining the molds. 

These molds will also be more resistant to abrasive materials like glass which leads to a reduction in runner wear, cavity wear, and gate wear. 

The ejector pins that are deep cryogenically treated are also more stable in size and shape, thus solving problems which may be caused by pins getting stuck. 

Since the metal is also more stable, any change in size due to the conversion of retained austenite during the heating and cooling cycling experienced during the molding process is minimized which helps reduce potential quality problems.

Controlled Thermal Processing Cryogenics can help you stay on top of your game in the competitive plastic molding industry. We are leaders in the cryogenics industry with almost four decades of experience. 

Many of our customers who have taken advantage of our proprietary deep cryogenic treatment process have seen two to three times the life on their molds, pins, and other parts.

We’ll be happy to provide you with a free quote for the cryogenic treatment of your molds. Reach out today and we’ll be happy to discuss the specifics of the job with you. 

CTP Cryogenics provides its wide range of services to customers from all over the country through its three processing facilities located in the United States.