Advanced Thermal Processing

Metal Science Services offers a variety of thermal treatments - Heat Treats, Cryo Processing and our advanced, patent-pending Therma-Cycle™ Processing.

  • Heat Treats - We offer heat treats for a variety of alloys and components.
  • Cryo Processing - We cool materials to -300° F in discreet stages of precise temperature and duration, followed by a tempering reheat, with each step tailored to the specific properties of the alloy being treated.
  • Therma-Cycle™ Processing - We also offer our patent-pending Therma-Cycle™ process for steels that must meet the highest performance specifications. Our advanced thermal process maximizes carbide precipitation, grain refinement and stress relief. Standard cryogenic processing may improve hardness and wear resistance, but only Therma-Cycle™ processing delivers dramatic increases in toughness as well.
If your interested in using any of our Services please contact us at 512-847-9679

Learn more about why advanced thermal processing enhances steel performance.

(Please note: We do not dip items in liquid nitrogen. Instead, our cryogenic processing unit uses liquid nitrogen as a coolant. Parts being treated never come in contact with liquid nitrogen.)


How does it work?

Our advanced thermal processing technology enhances the performance of steel and other materials by transforming their molecular structure. This transformation accomplishes several very important things:

Austenite to martensite conversion - Normal hardening transforms austenite, with its unstable crystalline structure, into martensite, which is much stronger and more durable. But normal hardening doesn’t convert all of a steel’s austenite to martensite. For that to occur, cooling technology is required. Cryogenic processing results in a nearly complete transformation of retained austenite to martensite.

Carbide particle formation - Normal hardening creates carbide deposits that disturb the alloy’s crystalline structure. During the cryogenic phase of thermal processing, small carbide particles precipitate out of the crystalline lattice and are evenly distributed throughout the material. This reduces residual stresses and creates a very hard, fine carbide lattice structure with improved wear resistance.

Grain structure is refined - All of the individual particles that make up an alloy are placed into their most stable state. These particles then are aligned optimally with surrounding particles. Also, molecular bonds are strengthened by the process.

Internal stress is relieved - Particle alignment and grain refinement combine to relieve internal stresses, which can contribute to part failure. This results in material that is optimized for durability.

The extreme cold temperatures during cryogenic processing also slow movement at the atomic level, increasing internal molecular bonding energy and promoting a pure structural balance throughout the material. The end result is a material with an extremely uniform, refined and dense microstructure with vastly improved properties.

University testing has shown that cryogenic processing significantly improves the wear resistance of many steels.

Percent Increase in Wear Resistance After Cryogenic Processing

Materials that showed significant improvement

AISI#

Description

At -110° F

At -310° F

D-2

High carbon/chromium die steel

316%

817%

S-7

Silicon tool steel

241%

503%

52100

Standard steel

195%

420%

O-1

Oil hardened cold work die steel

221%

418%

A-10

Graphite tool steel

230%

264%

M-1

Molybdenum high speed steel

145%

225%

H-13

Chromium/moly hot die steel

164%

209%

M-2

Tungsten/moly high speed steel

117%

203%

T-1

Tungsten high-speed tool steel

141%

176%

CPM-10V

Alloy steel

94%

131%

P-20

Mold steel

123%

130%

440

Martensitic stainless

128%

121%

Materials that did not show significant improvement

430

Ferritic stainless

116%

119%

303

Austenitic stainless

105%

110%

8620

Nickel-chromium-moly alloy steel

112%

104%

C1020

Carbon steel

97%

98%

AQS

Graphitic cast iron

96%

97%

T-2

Tungsten high speed-steel

72%

92%

R.F. Barron Study Results, Louisiana Polytechnic Institute

Want to know more? Read this brief online article, “Basics of Cryogenic Metallurgy.