Advanced Thermal Processing
Metal Science Services offers a variety of thermal treatments - Heat Treats, Cryo Processing and our advanced, patent-pending Therma-Cycle™ Processing.
If your interested in using any of our Services please contact us at 512-847-9679
(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.)
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.
Want to know more? Read this brief online article, “Basics of Cryogenic Metallurgy.”