The Cryogenic Machining System from Source to Tooling

5ME’s patented Cryogenic Machining System offers options for individual machines or large-scale utilization. Specially designed tooling and tool holders make retrofitting existing machines easy, reduce downtime for implementation and eliminate the need to invest in new machines to take advantage of advanced cooling techniques.


The Source – Cryogenic Cooling Fluid Storage

Liquid nitrogen is stored in a central storage location and then fed into the Cryogenic Machining System. The system is self-pressurizing; eliminating the need for pumps and other additional power consuming assets. There are three options for storage of the liquid nitrogen:

  1. Individual machine storage in a dewar (vacuum container that allows for insulated storage of the liquid nitrogen to keep it cooler, longer)
  2. Cell-based storage with a bulk dewar vessel and feed “drops” to each machine via vacuum jacketed feed lines
  3. Central/external storage and feed “drops” to each machine

For large scale installations, a centralized external storage system with “drops” to individual machines is recommended. For small cells of only two to six machines, a cellular storage and supply system is recommended.

The Feed – Cryogenic Machining Insulated Fluid Transfer

The feed system consists of vacuum jacketed insulated lines from the machine source system to the spindle, ram or turret system, depending on the machine concept. The LN2 feed system is critical to seal out ambient heat and feed a cool -321° F liquid to its point of use.

The feed system also has the responsibility to start and stop flow of liquid nitrogen, which is delivered at a prescribed pressure and flow rate engineered for the tool and/or application.

The Sub-Cooler – Cryogenic Machining Temperature Maintenance

The patented 5ME Sub-Cooler removes “pressure generated” heat out of the system which returns the LN2 flow back to -321° F and condenses dual phase (liquid and gas) back to 100% liquid. This critical sub-cooling helps prevent the formation of gases from downstream heat leaks and pressure drops. It allows accurate liquid metering for the flow control valves and ensures liquid nitrogen is delivered to the cutting edge which is critical for optimum heat extraction and extreme performance gains.

The Cryo Control (VCFS Control) – Programmable Flow Control

Patented control that regulates the flow rate through the Feed System. This is a programmable NC control-based system that allows for operators to program in the automatic control that signals to the Feed System how much flow is appropriate, or allows for auto override to emergency shut off or overflow the system.

The Spindle – Retrofit Cryogenic Machining to Many Machines

The patented 5ME Cryogenic Tooling System can easily be retrofitted into almost any OEM spindle, turret, or ram. A vacuum insulated tube rotates within the spindle allowing it to be used in hi-torque or hi-speed applications. Tools are also available in HSK or ANSI interfaces for 4- and 5-axis machining centers.

The insulated spindle system allows for the Cryogen to transfer through the spindle, turret, or ram without influencing the functional temperatures of these critical machine components. The spindle has excellent R&M with long seal life, no thermal cycling issues, no effect on spindle bearings, and over three years of continuous testing.

The Tool – Delivering Cryogen Directly to the Cutting Surface

5ME patented Cryogenic Tooling is specifically designed to interface with the Cryogenic System and is required for proper functionality and safety. Our current tooling catalog includes holders, turning & grooving tools, solid carbide mills and drills, indexable mills and drills, stubby and extended length tooling, boring tools, inserts, and more.

All 5ME Cryogenic Tooling is specifically designed and insulated to accept liquid nitrogen in the liquid state and keep it liquid up until the cutting edge, ensuring the most efficient use of the liquid nitrogen and optimal cooling at the point of cut.