Benefits of Nitrogen-based Cryogenic Machining vs. Traditional CoolantMay 27, 2015
The basic benefits of cryogenic machining technologies have been well-documented for nearly a decade but the newest technologies, like 5ME’s patented liquid nitrogen-based systems are making cryogenic machining more efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly than ever before.
So what’s driving this revolution? Super-cooled liquid nitrogen.
5ME’s patented cryogenic system delivers super-cooled liquid nitrogen (at -321 F) through the spindle/turret, directly inside the tool, which keeps cutting temperatures much lower and eliminates the need for traditional coolants.
So what does that mean for your machining operations? And how does liquid nitrogen-based cooling compare with systems that utilize traditional water- or oil-based coolants with respect to productivity, quality and environmental considerations?
Faster Cutting Speeds
With 5ME’s patented cryogenic machining technology, you have the ability to machine up to 5x faster than with traditional coolant. Because cutting temperatures are much lower when using liquid nitrogen-based cryogenic machining, significantly faster processing speeds are possible.
Usually, this type of an improvement comes with a substantial investment; meaning ROI may be years away. But since 5ME’s cryogenic machining system can be retrofitted to work with virtually any machine, there isn’t a need to purchase additional equipment when looking to increase your profitability quickly.
With a reasonable investment, you can easily increase processing speed, which enables a higher throughput, even when machining difficult materials, such as:
- Hardened and stainless steels
- Nodular Iron
- Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI)
- Carbon Fiber Composites
- Composite/Metal Stacks
Higher Surface Integrity and Part Quality
When utilizing 5ME’s liquid nitrogen-based cryogenic machining technology, you can expect an improvement in overall surface integrity and part quality due to the reduction of residual stress, burr formation, white layer, and surface distortion.
Aircraft manufacturing is one application in particular where this has proven to be a huge advantage. In fact, among the end users already applying cryogenic machining in manufacturing are companies in the aircraft industry. Additional benefits companies in this sector have found is that cryogenic machining prevents the formation of an untempered martensitic “white layer” on the machined surface. This layer is detrimental to an aircraft part because it facilitates cracks. The discovery is significant, because it means cryogenic machining can eliminate the acid bath usually required to remove this layer.
The aircraft industry isn’t the only industry that can benefit greatly from higher surface integrity and party quality. Other industries include oil and gas, and Auto/Truck.
In addition to improving overall surface integrity and part quality in the reduction of burr formation and surface distortion, test results have shown that 5ME’s unique cryogenic machining solution has assisted in the reduction of white layer / alpha layer and reduction of residual stress:
Reduction of White Layer / Alpha Layer
- Drilling of 4340 steel at 40 HRC
- Cryogenic drilling reduced white layer by 50%
- Hard turning of AISI 52100 steel using CBN dry and with Cryogen
- 88% reduction in white layer
- Reduction of Residual Stress
- Turning AISI 52100 using CBN dry and with Cryogen
- More than 20% reduction in residual stress using Cryogenics
Cryogenic Machining is Greener
Traditional coolants require filters and pumps, leading to an increase in energy consumption. The disposal of these coolants is costly and time-consuming. Even more, the chips created during metal removal are wet, complicating evacuation from the machine, which typically means draining, rinsing, and decontamination before reclamation.
5ME’s exclusive liquid nitrogen-based cryogenic machining technology doesn’t require coolant fans, pumps, or mist collectors. Our technology utilizes liquid nitrogen as a refrigerant , which evaporates into a non-toxic, non-greenhouse gas. As a result, there’s no need for mist collection, filtration, or collection of waste coolant.
There’s also no contamination of equipment or workpieces, eliminating the need for secondary processes.
Making the Right Choice
When making the decision between traditional coolant and 5ME’s patented liquid nitrogen-based cryogenic technology, consider the long-term benefits of what’s best for your productivity, tool-life, and quality.
Interested in learning more?
Download our free guide on the 11 Things Every Plant Manager Should Know About 5ME’s Cryogenic Machining: