CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

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CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Cajun Cryogenics
I read this on a competitors website and it really hit home, the web address is at the bottom of the page.

1. Freezing metal can't possibly change it.
We hear this a lot, even from metallurgists. The reality of the situation is that many things can happen in the crystal structure as the temperature is reduced. Basic metallurgy text books even give equations that describe some of the things that are happening, but since these things are not generally used in heat treating most metallurgists and engineers simply do not remember them.

2. That can't possibly work.
It is very interesting that people say this. We have independent lab reports, research from major universities such as Illinois Institute of Technology, Louisiana Tech University, University of Trento, Italy, National Heat Treatment Center of Dublin. We have tech papers from NASA, Los Alamos, the US Army Aviation and Missile Command and many others. They all say the process works. Where is the proof of those who say the process can't work?

3. We've never heard of that, so it can't be any good.
Nothing is new in the world, nor will there ever be anything new.   Columbus could not have sailed to a new continent, because nobody had ever heard of it before.  (Except some Vikings, but nobody listened to them.  Everyone was too busy running away from them.) Also, we have to accept that there are people who know everything.  

4. Your competition calls it Cryogenic Tempering or Deep Cryogenic Tempering
People who use these terms were just looking for things that sound good in marketing the process.  First of all, cryo processing is not a tempering process.  Cryogenic tempering is a meaningless term. Tempering is defined in ASM's Metal Handbook as "..reheating hardened steel or hardened cast iron to some temperature below the eutectoid temperature for the purpose of decreasing hardness and increasing toughness."  That is not cryogenic processing.  Also, it is not deep.  The Cryogenic Society of America defines cryogenics as starting at -244oF.  Deep cryogenics is more properly processing near -450oF, which is very close to as low as you can go. We can do deep cryogenic processing.  

5. Cryogenics is freezing dead bodies.
We hear this a lot.  Actually the freezing of bodies with the intent to wake them up later is called CRYONICS.  So don't worry, we won't put your parts next to either Walt Disney or Ted Williams.  (By the way, Walt was not frozen.)

6. If that were any good, we would have been using it a long time ago.
See the answer at #3 above.  Galileo ran into this a lot.  They told him that he had to stay home for the rest of his life because he postulated things that were new.  Like the earth is not the center of the universe.  Kind of a big time Renaissance time out for a naughty genius.  Of course the penalty for sneaking away from his time out was death.  That really put a stop to progress in his neck of the woods.

7. Cryogenics is VOODOO Science.
They say this because we can't totally explain why it works.  They totally ignore the studies by the US Army, US national laboratories, and major universities all over the world that say it does work.  Recently we've noticed a lot of Chinese research into the subject. Science is based on observing things we do not understand, observing that they are repeatable, formulating a theory to explain the observations and then testing the theory by experimentation.  There is nothing in scientific method that says that you cannot use something that you don't understand.  If there was, THEY wouldn't let us use gravity.)  If we needed to use only totally understood phenomenon, all progress would be stopped.  Science does not flow neatly out of the laboratory into general use.  Economics drives what is used in the real world, not some sort of jury of scientists.  Cryogenic processing has proven economically desirable even if we don't totally understand it.  As cryogenic processing becomes more widely used, we are beginning to formulate why it works based on experience of where it works.

8. Cryogenic processing makes steel more dense.
Interesting.  Let's see.  It converts austenite to martensite.  The martensite crystal is about 4% bigger than the austenite crystal.  In order for the steel to become more dense, it will also have to become heavier to make up for the increased volume.  Wow, cold fusion in every possible sense!  

9. Cryogenic processing changes the molecular structure of metals.
If you are not an engineer, cryogenic processing company or metallurgist, I will give you a pass on this one.  But all you engineers, cryogenic processing companies, and (shame on you) metallurgists out there who parrot this had better go sit in a corner for a couple of decades.  Metals get their metallic properties because they are crystalline in structure and not molecular.  

10. We tried that 30 years ago and it didn't work.
 I like this because it implies a certain constancy to life.  Everything goes along just as it was when we were children.  Stick your head in the sand, and do your time in the office, and all you learned in kindergarten will carry you through life just fine.

11. If we make our product last twice as long, we won't sell as many of them.
Somebody slept through basic economics class.  If you make a better product, your competition will suffer.  Their volume will go down, not yours.  In some cases you may sell fewer widgets, but still make more profit.  More money for less work.  Let's face it, if you don't make the best product for the money, someone eventually will.  If you are in an industry that is complaining that everything is made overseas, take a close look and see if you are giving your customers the best possible product.
We have a lot of trouble when salesmen get involved in the decision to use cryogenics or not.  Their advancement (as well as upper management's) is based on increasing sales dollars, not increasing profits.  Seems to us this system has a huge flaw.

12. Cryogenics will make the metal brittle.
This one gets me.  It has a corollary that cryogenics will make the metal too hard.  I usually hear this from people who know nothing about cryogenics, but they say it with great authority.  Cryogenic processing rarely makes metal significantly harder.  If it does, there was a big heat treating problem.  It rarely makes metal brittle, in fact it often allows the metal to bend more than it would before treatment.  If cryogenic processing makes metal brittle, how come we can increase valve spring life up to seven times in racing engines?  Yes, metals can be brittle while they are at very cold temperatures, but that does not mean they remain brittle when they warm up.  Remember, metals get soft when they get hot, but we use heat to harden them.

13. Cryogenics is only for bad heat treat.
Well, it will convert retained austenite to martensite in a big way.  So will cold treating to -140 degrees F.  That doesn't explain why the US Army found that cryogenically treating cold treated gear metal (9310) doubled the life of the metal, or why cryogenic processing increases the life of aluminum, cooper, titanium, etc.

14. Our tooling lasts long enough so we see not need to treat it.
This will really get you thinking, especially when you know that they are replacing their expensive tool several times a year.  It would seem to me that "long enough" is long enough only when the tooling just outlives the market life of the product.  Actually, we are looking for tooling costs to be optimized over the product market life.

15. We can't spend any more on tooling.
What they really mean is that they can't spend any more money up front.  They can hemorrhage money after the tool is made on repairs, labor, sharpening, lost production, because that comes out of someone else's budget.  After all, success is measured in how little your area spends, no matter what it costs the rest of the company, right?.  

16. We don't believe in that.
This is not a religion.  

17. We don't have time for that.
But we have plenty of time to fix, remake, rebuild, etc. when the part craps out?  Production delays at that point are part of someone else's budget.  This excuse is also used a lot by racers.  They don't have time to have a $400 set of valve springs processed so it will last a full season, but they have time to order new springs and change them every other weekend.  

18. You Don't Have Any Research To Support My Application
Yes, we probably do not have research to support the use of cryogenic processing on widgets when the relative humidity is 83.52%, and there is a blue moon, and there is a camel present.  Look, if someone has researched your particular situation before you, it is probably your competitor, and your customers are probably all over at his place buying from him because they get a better product.  Just shut off the light, and go home, permanently.

19. Cryogenic Processing Will Not Work On (insert material name here) because there is no retained austenite in it.
Metallurgists often pull this one.  They were taught that the only use of cryogenics is to convert austenite to martensite.  So obviously, cryogenics will not work on austenitic stainless steels, cast iron, non ferrous metals, and such.  The trouble is that it does work on these materials.   We have had customers who, while observing huge savings on downtime and part replacement, were ordered by the corporate metallurgist to stop using cryogenics because "It can't work on that metal."  One of the biggest uses for cryogenic processing is for brake rotors which have a pearlitic microstructure.  No Austenite, no martensite.

20. Cryogenics works on brake rotors because it turns the austenite into martensite.
I love this.  Give the dummies (customers) something the think they understand.  Look, the customers are not dummies, and some of you out there know that common brake rotors are made from pearlitic cast iron.....no martensite, no austenite.  Yet we've proven beyond any doubt that brake rotors benefit greatly from cryo.

21. Cryogenic processing is easy.  Just drop the part in liquid nitrogen.
Dropping parts in liquid nitrogen is a good way to create cracks, metal gravel, and such.  Look, the research shows that some of the good stuff you get out of cryogenic processing comes from time the part spent going down to -300F, how long it stayed there, and the time it took to come back up.  If you do not control these, you are basically wasting your time.
A fellow walked into our booth at the PRI show and claimed that cryogenics was a hoax because he was a scientist, he had tried it, and there was no increase in fatigue life.  Upon examination, we found that this "scientist" who was a metallurgist for a major spring company had dropped a spring into liquid nitrogen and claimed that as a cryogenic process.  This 'scientist' had not even bothered to read the literature.
One of our engine building customers likes to tell the story about a customer who wanted to have a crankshaft treated (before he met us) and they took it to a heat treater who dunked it in liquid nitrogen.  The crankshaft cracked in short order.  Actually, it cracked when it hit the liquid nitrogen.  Heat treaters will tell you they know all about cryogenics, but they really know that they can get things cold by dipping them.  They have no idea of what they are doing.

22. We don't care that it works. We have to know why it works.
If this is so, you had better go through your plant and eliminate every process that uses things that cannot be fully explained.  Start with gravity.  
Knowing why it works is not essential to science.  Here are a few quotes from some scientists you may have heard of:
"The purpose of science is not to obtain a proper solution of the problem discussed by philosophers, namely, what causes objects to behave as they do."  Galileo, Dialogs Concerning Two New Sciences
"To establish the laws of phenomena I have not inquired into the cause one might assign to these forces" Ampere
"In order to predict what is useful to us, it will not be necessary to know the mechanism."  Henri Poincare
Similar views were expressed by Newton & Fourier.  (Thanks go to Harry White, who wrote about this in his upcoming book.)

23. We want a coating to solve our wear problem.
People have unbounded faith in coatings.  They believe that a nice gold colored coating that is .00005 inches thick will armor a piece of metal against anything because it is hard.  The fact that the material under the coating cannot bear the strain means nothing to these people.  Coatings are fine when you are faced with a problem of reducing friction, inhibiting corrosion, or resisting light abrasion.  Listen:  Coatings are like egg shells.  Remember, all the king's horses and all the king's men. . . . .

24. We can't afford to change the prints.
This came from a manufacturer of large earth moving equipment.  We treated some 12.5mm drills for them which they tested and found far superior to untreated drills.  They calculated that it would save them about $75,000/year on this one operation on one part number.  Reason for not using cryogenics is it would cost too much to make a change.  This was about 11 years ago.  They've spent $825,000 extra on that one operation since then, not to mention what they would have saved on all the other operations on that one part.

25. I don't think it works.
This is a unique story.  I've heard it from both the metallurgist involved and the owners of the company at the time cryogenics was initiated.  We'll call the metallurgist Dr. Smith, because I haven't asked permission to use his real name.   The company was a major manufacturer of firearms.  Dr. Smith bought a cryoprocessor from us and documented savings of over $1,000,000 the first year on tooling.  The second year was about $2,500,000.  At this point, the company was sold.  Dr. Smith was downsized out.  I would like to see the justification for that one.  Let's see, Dr. Smith, we can't afford you because you are only saving us $2.500,000/year on just one decision.  

The running of the cryogenic processor was turned over to the maintenance department who promptly shoved it into a corner.  When the new management asked about it, maintenance told them "I don't think that process does anything."  Management got real decisive and declared, "Then get rid of it."  The cryoprocessor was traded for a fork lift truck.  

About a year later, the accounting department got around to looking at the tooling budget.  It had skyrocketed for some mysterious reason.  The company ended up buying a new cryoprocessor.  You will be happy to know that "Dr. Smith" landed on his feet.  He is a highly respected "mover and shaker" in ASM.  I love telling your story, Fred!

26. We won't use it until we are being beaten by it.
This came from a highly respected Nextel Cup team owner.  He came up with this pronouncement when asked if his team would like to explore the possibilities of using cryogenics.  Since over  half the cars in Nextel Cup series are using parts we cryogenically processed, and they are winning, I would guess that this fellow is a little late.  The trouble is, we have confidentiality agreements with some of the teams we work with, and we can't tell this guy who we work with.

http://www.metal-wear.com
www.cajuncryogenics.com
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
David...

It sounds like the Cryo process is definitely something I will need to look into as future maintenance of my firearms. I have a large amount money invested in the firearms I own and the Cryo process could almost be looked upon as proper maintenance. Is there any benefit to having a weapon go through the Cryo process more than once? I know that with excessive firing (such as my m-16) the barrel can get hot enough to ignite paper. I have never done such a thing but I have seen it happen. Would having the weapon go through excessive heat after the Cryo process be detrimental to the Cryo process itself?

Take care,
Tye
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Cajun Cryogenics
 Very good question Tye, and in some circumstances yes. When processing a $750.000 dual cavity injection mold the mold built up impact stress from use and after 4 months or so the mold would be reprocessed to relieve the stress built up from use. I could see that AR barrels could, in a high use situation see similar issues. Because manufactures of most AR barrels do not cryo process their barrels then it is a very good idea and would allow the barrel to dissipate heat better and tolerate higher temperatures also. If a barrel is heated up extensively and stresses implied to the barrel while hot, then I could see stress being re-introduced in to the barrel and therefore an additional cryogenic processing would be a benefit. There are people who say that processing a barrel 2 or 3 times is more beneficial than processing just once, but I will say that if this is true most of the benefits are seen in the first processing and there is not much left to improve after the first processing unless new stresses are introduced.

I absolutely believe that cryogenic processing will be as prevalent as heat treating in the future and is a great way to maintain your firearms and ensure they will last for a long time. I have no problems saying that most firearms will double their life after cryogenic processing, particularly springs and rifling may benefit even more.


www.cajuncryogenics.com
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

On Target LLC
Administrator
I have cryo'd a small Rohm pistol twice..... it happened by accident....... really! I had a customers gun in the safe that was identical and had already been cryo'd. AHAhahahahaaaaaaaaa.......... I'm such a dumb ass sometimes.

I have had every one of my personal guns cryo processed and can say without a doubt that I noticed the difference in each one. I sell the cryo process not just to make a buck, but because I know that it works and want the best for my customers. We have found that our finishes are actually improved when combined with the cryo process.

Once I mentioned to some SNS owners that their guns could be improved with cryo processing and they replied "why would I spend that on a gun that cost the same or less than the cost of cryo?" I say: "If you cryo an affordable gun.... you are doubling the value of the gun. If it's made out of ZAMAK, it is now stronger and more wear resistant. You now have a more valuable firearm because its QUALITY has been improved and would last longer than TWO bought back to back.

Please don't think that I'm paid by the cryo industry to say these things..... I consider myself a prophet of all things CRYO and am doing my job to introduce others to its many benefits.
Just say NO to socialism!
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
John...

I totally understand your thoughts about the Cryo process but others will look at the fact they might get as many as 14,000 rounds from the Zamak gun they own and feel it would be more cost effective to buy that second gun then pay for the Cryo process. Granted the Cryo process could make that one gun last twice as long but buying that second gun to most will seem quite reasonable. I myself tend to try to make the guns I have last as long as I can. I guess others do not look at it the same as I do.

For the most part those that own a firearm manufactured from Zamak will not be selling it. Looking at making a gun more valuable really will not come to mind. The doubling in value will actually be in the fact the gun will last longer and not need to be replaced as soon. That is where the true quality will come into play. I have a feeling that once the Cryo process catches on there will be far more looking into having their guns treated. But it will take time to sway minds to the right side of the track.

Take care,
Tye
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Kevin D.
Administrator
In reply to this post by On Target LLC
John, that wasnt my Father-in-Law's little Rohm that got cryo's was it?? i know its the same one you had as the last contest gun
 ‎"its not the caliber, and its not the gun. its how well you perform, that completes the task at hand
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

John@OT
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No....... I sent the prize gun again! I was trying to send your gun, but grabbed mine out of the safe instead. I didn't look for the fuzzy red grips
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Kevin D.
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fuzzy red grips!! ha i like that one. thats hilarious
 ‎"its not the caliber, and its not the gun. its how well you perform, that completes the task at hand
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
In reply to this post by John@OT
John@OT wrote
No....... I sent the prize gun again! I was trying to send your gun, but grabbed mine out of the safe instead. I didn't look for the fuzzy red grips
John...

Speaking of grips I would guess that you take the grips off the weapon. But I was wondering what the Cryo process would do to grips especially rather old one's and things like rubber. The Calico magazine is spring fed but has a soft rubber carrier that the ammunition rides on. Could there be any problem with the Cryo process and material of this nature? I also believe that the casing of the magazine and grips are plastic rather than polymer so that has to be taken into consideration as well. Would it be necessary to take the magazine totally apart to just treat the springs or can the entire magazine be processed together? Other than that the Calico is mainly Aluminum and steel.

Take care,
Tye
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John@OT
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It would be best to do only the mag springs. If the mag has a steel inner liner inside and it can't be removed you'd have to leave it out. SPRINGS ONLY is what Dave would most likely say! Some grips are ok. Dave and I usually remove all grips. Rubber is usually better off than plastic, but once we did a semi auto with rubber wrap around grips and the rubber had a plastic back..... the whole thing cracked through...rubber and plastic. Some plastics do survive as well as some rubber can fail. Dave knows more about the causes of that.
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
I would take a guess at the fact the intense cold would remove what moisture there is within the rubber that keeps it pliable. Restoring that moisture would be almost impossible. I do know that the magazine can be taken down totally but I have never done that particular procedure myself. The most I ever did was to remove the top portion and clean the rubber feed the best I could and reassemble the unit. Even doing that had me a bit nervous and have never done it sense. In cleaning all I do is make sure the feed and internals able to be reached by a Q-Tip are cleaned the best I can. In doing that it has never failed me yet so I guess that is about all I will do unless I am told by someone else to do some thing else. I.E. don't fix what ain't broke.

Take care,
Tye
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Cajun Cryogenics
In reply to this post by John@OT
I have only had a problem with rubber once, the time John spoke of. Actually rubber is processed in some applications often and so are polymers and composites but it is a known composition and a tested product. In this situation I believe it was a manufacturing defect that caused it to fail during processing but because of this I do not normally process grips or other plastic or rubber parts. I will and have however processed Glock and H&K frames that are polymers and  they do benefit and I have had no problems, but I cannot guarantee them, it would just not be smart of me. Springs are a very important thing to process in a firearm because in my opinion they are the weakest link in your firearm. The benefits can range from 2x cycle life and reduced fatigue to 7x cycle life. I would absolutely process your Calico spring because you probably do not have 5 or 6 mags so it is important to take care of the ones you have.
Hope this helps
David
www.cajuncryogenics.com
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Cajun Cryogenics
About the magazines, I do break down all magazines and process the spring and body of the mag, I remove the follower and base plate if it is plastic. I have yet to run across a mag that will not break down other than a calico. Ar mags I process plastic and all and I have never had any problems with any of the plastic on them. It just all depends on the material.
www.cajuncryogenics.com
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
In reply to this post by Cajun Cryogenics
Cajun Cryogenics wrote
I would absolutely process your Calico spring because you probably do not have 5 or 6 mags so it is important to take care of the ones you have.
Hope this helps
David
David...

You are very right there. Currently the magazines cost as much as I paid for the Calico itself. That is one reason I am worried about processing the rubber conveyor. Believe me if something were to go wrong it would go wrong with something of mine. For the most part if it were not for bad luck I would now have any luck. Something I have had to live with all my life. The Calico is an awesome little gun and I have had a lot of fun with it. When you figure that each magazine holds 100 rounds I bet you can just imagine how many rounds have gone through her. Many was the time I bought an entire brick of Remington Yellow Jackets and went through it and a fair amount of other types of ammo others shot through her. For the most part the Calico enjoys the truncated cone type ammo as it seems to feed more reliably. But actually I found that she will digest just about any type of ammo you want to feed her. She has always had a good appetite.

When it comes her time I will make sure you get the call.

Take care,
Tye
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

On Target LLC
Administrator
Do to the mag being pricey and most likely more scarce than I'd like to guess, you should make this the one you get done first. Plus................ don't forget my Christmas Present offer. You can even pick the colors!!!!!!!!
Just say NO to socialism!
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
On Target LLC wrote
Do to the mag being pricey and most likely more scarce than I'd like to guess, you should make this the one you get done first. Plus................ don't forget my Christmas Present offer. You can even pick the colors!!!!!!!!
It's a hard choice to make. I know that you could really do something special with the Calico but it is more a fun gun than something for real use. My thoughts are tending towards getting my carry piece done rather then seeing how neat I can make a fun gun. For some time I have been thinking of selling it but to tell you the truth I just really don't want to get rid of it because it is such a fun gun. But I think even you would tend to lean towards having your daily sidearm taken care of before anything else was processed.

Not to worry, I am thinking it over and I will come to a decision soon I am sure. Besides, I think you also need to see just exactly what the Star really can do with me talking it up so much. Believe me I am thinking it over.

Take care,
Tye
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Kevin D.
Administrator
Tye- whichever one you decide to send you wont be disappointed. John does a great job and so does Dave. Dave has treated 1 of my guns so far with more to follow, and ive also purchased a cryo'd knife from him. ive used the hell out of it since i bought it which was about 4 months ago and its still sharp as hell and will shave the hair right off your arm.
 ‎"its not the caliber, and its not the gun. its how well you perform, that completes the task at hand
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Re: CRYO MYTHS--good reading!

Tye G. Wolfe
Administrator
Kevin...

There is always the chance of having them both done. But that would take a bit more time. I am waiting for my government retirement to go in force and when it does I will have to see what it brings me. That is unless John really wants to give me a
Christmas gift beyond all and go for both. Sorta like the current project with the Federal Arms FA-91 it would make a real eye opener to have displayed. Just a thought but I really can't ask John to do that. That would really be stretching things.

Take care,
Tye