Job Shop Technology
300 Below, Inc. was featured in the February 2002 issue of Job Shop Technology.
Cryogenics a Powerful Extender of Wear Life
Manufacturers are beginning to see how cryogenic tempering can dramatically increase the useful life of parts and tooling in a variety of materials.
Because of its unheard- of success in increasing the wear resistance of metals, allovs, and even plastic materials, cryogenic processing(also known as cryogenics tempering or treating) is an exciting fronttier that holds much promise for manufacturers. In contrast to conventional surface treatments, cryogenic treatment is one-time process that affects the entire structure of the material be processed. It is therefore known as a “through treatment” as opposed to a surface treatment. Automotive engine components, brake rotors, musical instruments, and aerospace castings are just some of the many parts, components, and products that stand to benefit from low-tem- perature(-300°F) treating.
Today, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about, or at least intrigued by, a process that has been shown to increase the wear life of materials by startling percentages in the range of 300% to 400%. But depsite its apparent usefulness, cryogenic processing remains a mystery to many within the manufacturing community, let alone the general public. Part of the reason for the mystery surrounding the process is that is has yet to generate the publication of sufficient quantities of hard data to support or confirm the validity of the theories. Until more companies commit themselves to taking,recording, and making available exacting results of cryogenic treatments, industry as a whole is likely to remain somewhat reserved in its use of the process. Thanks largely to the effort of the Cryogenic Society of America, Inc.(Oak Park, Illinois), misperceptions are gradually giving way to new insights that are based on scientific data and documented case studies. If you’re interested in learning more about cryogenic processing, the Cryogenic Society of America,Inc. (CSA) is a good place to start. You can visit their website at www.cryogenicsociety.org.
If you’re looking for a contract provider of cryogenic treating services, don’t overlook companies listed under “Heat Treating” in the JST Outsourcing Buyer’s Guide. Cryogenic processing is really a continuation of the heat-treating process that further extends the cooling cycle to temperatures below 300°F. Offen, companies that are planning to add cryogenic processing to their services already have capabilities in heat treating or other finishing processes.
It’s also interesting to see that manufacturing applications of cryogenic science are not limited to treating parts and tooling for greater durability. Another practical use is a finishing technique for trimming flash and burrs from metal, rubber, and plastic parts. Company is using cryogenics in combination with shot-blast deflashing and deburring.
The idea is to embrittle flashing and burrs through low temperatures, making them easy to remove from parts by a blasting technique that uses no chemicals and prevents scratching. Cryogenic shot-blast deflashing and deburring represents a fast, economical, and accurate method of automating the finishing process for molded, cast, or machined parts.
Website Worth Watching
A new addition to the pages of JST is the section Websites Worth Watching: The latest custom manufacturing services are only a click away, on the page83 of this month’s issue.
Some may think of it as an online version of Job Shop Literature. For engineers, manufacturing managers, and purchasers, it’s another tool for locating specialty and custom contract manufacturing services. Be sure to look for it each quarter.
The Cold, Hard Facts about Cryogenics
Cryogenic Processing an Exciting Frontier for Manufacturers
By Mark Shortt
Unlike coatings, cryogenic treating improves the entire tool or part, rather than just the surface. Longer part life, residual stress relief, and less downtime for replacing broken or worn parts are among the reported benefits.
The emerging technology of cryogenic processing (also known as cryogenic treating or tempering) is quickly earnings respect as a technique for increasing the durability and dimensional stability of manufactured parts. Originally developed by NASA, and once used primarily to extend the life of industrial tooling, cryogenic processing now holds exciting possibiities for manufacturers of products in every corner of the commercial realm. Much of the current enhusiasm is a result of research showing that wear resistance of tool steels can be significantly improved by slowly cooling the tool steel to cryogenic temperatures (-310°F to -320°F), and cold soaking the steel at this low temperature for a minimum of 20 hours. However, the treatment process had also been found to enhance the abrasive wear resistance of various alloys and plastic materials.
Unlike various surface treatments, cryogenic processing is a one-time treatment that affects the material throughout its entire structure. Residual stress relief, thermal and dimensional to increased toughness – are among the main benefits of the technique, which has long been known to extend the service life of end mills, drill bits, cutting blades, punches, and dies. Now, with the popularity of the process on the rise, engineers are becoming increasingly aware of its effectiveness on steel parts, such as springs, wheels, shafts, bearings, gears, sprockets, and valve components. Other uses include gun barrels, aluminum softball bats and golf clubs, aerospace castings and components, and automotive brake parts(rotors and pads).
“Each week, new products are found to benefit from cryogenics,” says “Sports equipment, cutting tools, stereo components, brass musical instruments, and racing equipment are just a few that are now being cryogenically treated [to achieve] greatly enhanced performance.” adds that although cryogenics is not a substitue for conventional heat treatment, it can provide “tremendous improvement in carbon, alloy, and stainless steels.” Besides increasing resistance to wear by “up to 300%,” it can also diminish the propagation of cracks, he says.
Although there are many theories as to why cryogenic treatment is effective, actual measurements of results have remained relatively diffcult to obtain. An interesting aspect of the process is that the treated tool or part shows no visible changes in color, size, or any other property that can readily be visually detected.
There is also essentially no change to the hardness, or any other physical properties of the part, that can be readily checked or measured by tensile or impact tests, for example.
“A normal metallograph shows no changes,” says Pete Paulin, CEO of 300° Below Cryogenic Tempering Services, Inc., Decatur, Illinois. “Nor do common tests like eddy current, ultrasonics, or Barkhausen effect belie the fact that the part has been cryo processed.” For these reasons, Paulin says, the process is diffcult to fit within the normal parameters of a quality control system.
As a result, the advantage of what began as Space Age technology many years ago are still largely unknown to many within the manufacturing industry. Although the benefits of cryogenic treatment can be supported by numerous anecdotal examples, they require precise measurement to prove their effectiveness – something that too few compaines have been willing or able to undertake. The fact that many companies keep their processing techniques “close to the vest” to maintain a competitive advantage only adds to the mystery. To those who are unfamiliar with cryogenic treatment, the process can therefore seem more like magic than something measurable.
This is beginning to change, however. Intrigued by reports of as much as 300% improvement in wear resistance, manufacturing engineers are starting to see the benefits of using cryogenic processing to treat not just tooling, but also a broad range of parts, components, and products. They and others who are interested in the technology have been aided by access to educational resources such as the Cryogenic Information Retrieval System(CIRS), a resource of the Cryogenic Information Center(CIC), which provides information and assistance to the government, industry, and academia. The CIC maintains a website at www.cryoinfo.org.
In the 36 years since its information, 300° Below Cryogenic Tempering Services, Inc. has grown from its origins in a garage to its current position as a multi-million-dollar business. In 1966, the company’s Cryo-Tech commissioned Louisiana Tech University’s Division of Engineering Research to conduct a series of studies to determine what happens to materials during the process. The research, led by Dr. Randall Barron, identified the fundamentals of wear, the factors controlling wear, and the mechanisms by which cryogenic treatment in fluences the wear resistance of materials. Five types of tests were run on common tool steel alloys:52100, 0-2, A-2, M-2, and 0-1.
Photomicrographs taken during the research showed
that cryogenic treatment changed the microstructure of tool steels that had been slowly cooled to cryogenic temperatures (-310°F to -320°F) and cold soaked at the low temperatures for a minimum of 20 hours. One of the findings was the transformation of retained austenite into harder martensite as a result of taking the steel to very low temperatures. According to Paulin, the study concluded that cryogenics, when applied properly, results in significant savings and can reduce the use of energy, natural resources, and raw materials. Today, those who use the process consistently report reduced costs, he says. If a $75,000 die receives a three-fold increase in service life as a result of a cryogenic treatment that costs $1000, the treatment process would save $15,000. “Generally,it’ is a 15% cost for a 200-500% gain in life,” he says.
The Treatment Cycle
The controlled cryogenic process starts whith the loading of a well-insulated treatment chamber with the materials to be processed. A microprocessor is programmed according to the weight of the parts being treated. Liquid nitrogen(LN2) is used as a cooling medium to lower tempearture within the chamber to -315°F. The temperature is lowered at very slow rate, under precise contorl, because a rapid change in temperature can induce stresses caused by thermal shock. This descent phase can take anywher from seven to 14 hours.
Once the temperature reaches 315°F, the process en ters the soak phase, which maintains this temperature for 24 hours. The long soak ensures that the entire cross section of the material in the chamber is completely treated. The final step in the process is the ascent phase, in which heaters raise the internal temperature of the chamber to ambient.
“There is not that much sophistication to cryogenic treatment when you get right down to it,” says. “The whole process boils down to a slow rate of cooling followed by a long soak period,” followed by a mild temper(300°F) for some items.”
Despite impressive reports of its benefits, cryogenic processing is not the answer to every situation, according to. Like any real science, it has specific limitations and applications. One limitation is that it can take significantly longer than other types of processing. High-volume production requires specific considerations, and the process may not work on some anodize treatments. “Degraded performance has been reported as a result of cryogenic processing on some anodized parts,” revealed.
However, the process can be used in conjunction with coatings, and, in many cases, will actually improve the quality of the coating to be applied to a part. According to , the process of applying coatings by electrochemical means is dramatically improved by the improved grain uniformity and higher electrical and thermal conductivity derived from cryogenic treating. “The coating will be more uniform and bond itself much better to the metal substrate,” says “Anodize will resist the acid bubble test by a factor of 5-10, and TiN coatings become longer lasting. The process can also be applied to tools that have already been coated.”
Meeting Technical Challenges
One company uses a proprietary treatment process that is calls Deep Cryogenic Tempering(DCT). uses the computer-controlled tempering process to significantly improve the wear and performance characteristics of engine components such as valves, rings, cyclinders, intake manifolds, push rods, pistions, and connecting rods. According to cmpany officials, the firm recently applied the process to solve premature wear and decreased performance in disk brake rotors and brake pads. Greening Testing Laboratories(GTL), of Detroit, Michigan is said to have performed independent testing on treated and untreated rotors.
GTL used a properietary test procedure that had been specifically developed for evaluating the lining and rotor wear characteristics under simulated driving conditions. The procedure incorporate 25 unique braking events, repeated four times in a randomized order. The resulting group of 100 cycles is then repeated 10 times for a total of 1000 cycles. An inspection of pads and rotors, including mass and thickness measurements, was conducted after each 1000-cycle interval.
Based on measurements relating to loss for rotor thickness, the rotors treated with Deep Cryogenic Tempering were said to achieve 234% better wear than untreated rotors. Standard brake pads, which were not treated, reportedly achieved 361% better wear on treated rotors than the pads that were used on untreated rotors.
A number of cryogenic jobs involve the processing of machine shop tools,including drill bits, hobbs, mills, and cutters. Recently, the company has been cryogenically treating stereo components, such as amps, tubes, connecting wires, and filters, with outstanding results, according to
Unlike many cryogenic sources, can offer “a more complete metallurgical solution” that includes heat-treating services, noted. He says that the best cryogenic results are obtained only through “proper, high-quality heat treatment before the cryogenic processes.”
One customer, a gear cutter, had been paying for expensive, titanium-nickel-coated cutting tools. He found that normal high-speed cutters, when cryogenically treated,outlasted the Ti-Ni-coated tooling, and at less total cost, reported.
Another customer, a screw machine company, was having a problem withi tolerances on a stainless steel part.
“They were drilling a deep hole into a 304 rod-basically making a thin-walled tube,” explained. “The drilling heat caused the part to go out of straight by 0.008 inch. After cyro-treating a high speed dirll bit, the resutling parts were out only 0.002 inch, well within their tolerance.” has OEM customers in serveral product areas, mainly in the medical and automotive industries. The firm’s primary product fields are orthopedicimplants, brake pads, and spark plugs – applications for which has developed patents. The company also processess a variety of additonal applications, inlcuding engines and cutting tools. A number of high-profile racing concerns-ranging from Indy Lights race teams to nationally known motorcycle racers- use’s treament services.
uses vacuum-insulated cryogenic processing system that are built in-house. The systems are equipped with redundant process contorls, running identical treatment contorls in real time, and are backed up by uninterruptable power supplies. They are further supported by proprietary software and hardware contorl system, which switches process control to the backup system, should the primary process control system experience a software or hardware failure.
Recently, was approached by a manufacturer who was experienceing field failures of an aluminm product. The failure occured due to stress fractures developing around drilled holes in the product, after about 50,000 stress cycles. The manufacturer’s efforts to improve the fatigue life of the parts ranged from trying different aluminum alloys to changing the forming and machining processes, all of which were unsuccessful, according to.
After learning of the specific alloy in use for the application, constructed and exectued a cryogenic processing plan, which included five “screening” treatments on five groups of samples. These samples were subsequently tested on a test fixture that replicated the “real world” use of the product. Each “screening” cryogenic process produced increases in the fatigue life of the parts, said. “These improvements ranged from 80,000 cycles – the least improvement-to well over 200,000 cycles, for the best improvement,” he explained. “The cryogenic process of choice in creased the fatigue life of the parts by 400%, providing the manufacturer with a marketable product.”
300° Below Cryogenic Tempering Services, Inc., cryogenically processes more than a million pounds of steel materials per year, according to Pete Paulin, CEO. Haveing enlarged some of its equipment ot permit processing of parts as long as 25 feet, the
company recently processed a 27,000 pound die for a major aerospace company. “We now consume over 15,000,000 cubic feet of nitrogen, with an available capacity to process over 5 million pounds of steel per year,” says Paulin. “Our plans are for expansion into core industries, implementing our new high-amplitude sonic, high-Gauss magnetic and deep cryogenic processing systems.”
In addition to providing cryogenic tempering services, 300° Below makes equipment; the firm recently built a specialized processor for treating metallic mirrors for NASA’s next generation of the space program. “It required eight temperature contorols points on the mirrors themselves, as well as multiple temperature control points for the atmosphere for the processor,” said Paulin. The company also recently developed a ” new, fourth generation of software” for controlling its cryo processors, which are different, cascade compressor electric types “the most efficient processors we are aware of in the industry,” Paulin says. The software is said to be more reliable and easier to use, and provides information about the cycles which was previously unavailable. “Graphing and data acquisition is now much easier, ” Paulin affirms.
Once customer, an agricultural products manufacturer, cryogenically treats its M- 2 horizontal nick and shear blades used in a Vogel tube cutting machine. The blade shears the tubing, and needs to be sharp so that the tubing is cut, rather than crushed. Both wear and breakage were previously a problem, according to Paulin. Now , after being cryogenically treated, the blades have doubled in wear life and run at least three time longer between breakage, he says. Another client, a maker of plastic packaging, uses carbide knives that must be run at less than full speed after two weeks of usage. “We switched them to HYSS blades, which are 40% less expensive, and the cryogenically treated blades ran 10 weeks, of which 8 weeks wer at full speed” Paulin said.
Thirty-six years of continuing research into mechanisms of cryogenic processing have not even scratched the surface, according to Paulin. But as the technique becomes more popular, new applications for deep cryogenic processing are appearing every day, and still more uses promise to emerge tomorrow. “We are witnessing the genesis of a new industry,” says Paulin. “It is appearent now that the commerical cryogenic processing industry is an industry with a future. Cryogenic is today where heat-treating was 100 years ago, in its infancy. And, oh, what a beautiful baby!” For more from 300° Below Inc., circle RF261.
A Chilling Story of Brute Strength and Durability
By Jeff Berger
cryogenic processor is on the cutting edge of a technology that has yet to fully mature.
Although persident of is very passionate about the value of his technology, he offen receives phone calls from would-be users who just don’t undestand what it’s all about. “A lot of people who hear about cryogenic parts processing conclue that it’s a really good idea,” he says, “but then they go out and buy a glorified chest freezer and expect success. It doesn’t work that way. You have to know metallurgy and be conversant with other materials research, you must do the process correctly, and you must have knowledge about what specifically it is that you’re trying to accomplish.”
Ask what exactly this cryogenich treatment process is,what is does, and how it works, and you acquire a real eduction about cryogenic science. Although cryogenics can be used whith many materials, it’s metal that sees a truly high degree of cryogenic treatment. As those who work with metal are well aware, when steel is first made, it is a state called austenite, or a specific arrangement of carbon and iron atoms within a crystalline structure. “Austenite is a soft phase,” explains. “Materials in the austenite phase are very easy to machine using conventional tooling – in fact,gears and other tooling are offen rough-machined as austenite, after which they’re heat treated.”
Depending on the chemical composistion of – and the properties needed in – final product, gears and tooling may be heated to 1600°F or higher, says. At this temperature, the atoms that make up the austenite crystalline structure shite to form martensite, which is very hard and brittle.
According to, a good analogy regarding the effect of this shift atoms is coal and diamonds, both of which are made people know, the carbon atoms are not arranged, which makes it easy to take them away by wear or some other reaction like heat, ” says. “In a diamond, the carbon atoms have very different bonding arrangement, making them the hardest substance known. Diamonds are formed through heat and pressure and time – a lot of it.”
After being heat-treated to matensite, tools and gears are quenched, or cooled very quikcly, in air, water, or oil. “If you let the steel cool on its own, the martensite would just transform back into austenite, so you have to quench the product to seal in those changes” notes. Since steel being quenched cools from the outside in, it doesn’t cool at the same reate; the outside remains mostly martensite and the inside is progressively more austensite. Some warping can occur during quenching, so the quenched tool is sometimes ground to final dimensions, taking away the outermost martensite layer. The tool is then tempered betwen 300° to 750°F to add strength to the martensite.
That;s when cryogenicc processing begins. Tools or gears or other products can be cryogenically processed days, moths,or years after heat-treating. There’s no need for a cryogenic processing plant to be co-located with a heat-treating plant. Cryogenic treatment takes the austenite that did not covert into martensite during heat treating, and coverts it into martensite while also precipitating very fine eta-carbide particles out of the crystalline structure. These particles then migrate into the grain boundaries. Under cryogenics,steel i slowly cooled to between -300° F and -320°F, and is held at that temperature for at least 20 hours.
“All of the research that has been conducted into cryogenic processing shows that the critical componet is time at temperature – the longer the process stays at cryogenic temperatures, ther more complete the transformatin from austenite to martensite.”
“As a consequent of cryogenic processing,the entire matrix holds together much better,” says, “Perhaps most important, the carbide particles are extremely wear resistant.” In the final cryogenically treated tool, gear, or other part or device, ther are two mportant qualities,he claims. “The first quality is wear resistance, which comes from the martensite and carbide particles. The second, dimensional stability, comes from not having two phases of metal existing side by side.”
But, admonishes, “the whole process is very dependent on how the heat treatment was done, If the heat treatment made the part into a piece of scrap, then cryogenically treating it will just make it a cold piece of scrap. The process must be done correctly, If it is, the product will be exceptional.”
Perfecting Cryogenic Prcoessing
While working for large manufacturer for 15 years, an engineer, had gained a working knowledge of tooling. Because his company works with a wide spectrum of businesses(see Cool Applications, below), and because he’s been researching cryogenic processing for seven years, is well aware of which materials respond well to “cryo” treatment and which don’t.
“To ‘cryo’ corectly,” he says, “you must use the correct processor correctly. The cryo chamber we use is a patented double-walled, stainless steel, vacuum-insulated cylindrical device; the vacuum between the inner and outer walls is the perfect insulator.”
Parts subjected to ‘cryo’ in processor see less than a five-degree temperature gradient, which, says is quite important. “The narrow temperature gradient ensures more uniform target cooling,” he explains. “Unlike, our cylindrical processor, competitive rectangular processors can’t keep temperature as uniform. The result of uniform cooling is greater quality and consistency in finished products.”
process is dry: the payload is never subjected to the liquid nitrogen coolant. Instead, the coolant is used in conjucntion with a heat exchanger to cool the air around the payload, usually to about -300° Fahrenheit. “The whole cryogenic process boils donw to a specific, slow rate of cooling, followed by a long soak period, followd by a mild temper(300° F) for metal items,” says. “Our processors cover that full range, from -300° F to +300° F.
“Some cryogenic processing compaines may try to tell prospective users that the next generationin cryogenic processing is what they call ‘thermal cycling,’, which is numerous periods of cooling followd by heating. However, all of the research that has been conducted into cryogenic processing shows that the critical component is time at temperature – the longer the process stays at cryogenics temperatures, the more complete the transformation from austenite to martensite. The longer the soak, the better formed the eta-carbides, in those materials with carbide-froming elements.”
suggests that the most accurate way to regard cryogenic processing process. but a bad heat treatment can’t be fixed with cryongenics. Advantage of cryogenics include the following:
Dimensional stability. Less warpage of the final product helps ensure adherence to specs/tolerances.
Product durability Parts need only by cryogenically processed once, since the process lasts for the life of the part. Cryogenics treatment extends the service life of tools, dies, and steel parts such as springs, wheels, shafts, bearings, gears,sprokets, and valve components. Parts which have been cryogenically treated exhibit increased toughness, wear resistance, and dimesional stability.
Durability of coatings. “Users of coated tooing are finding that coatings have a greater affinity for martensite over austenite,” he notes. “If you subject coated metal to cryogenics,” he explains, “the conversion of retained austenite to martensite in the base metal while down at temperature will enhance the bond of the coating to the base material. some customers tell us that it takes two to three times as long for the coating to wear off cryogenically treated tooling as non-cryo-treated cooling.”
More effective polishing. After cryogenic processing, micro crakcs and voids are filled in, says. The advantage is noticed when the part needs to be polished-less effort is required to produce the same surface finish compared with no cryotreated parts.
To complete cryogenic processing effectively takes time – upwards of 30 to 50 hours, and it cannot be converted to a continuous process. Also, the process can’t extend the wear life of most natural materials like wood, natural rubber, and leather.
“Our customers don’t like usually ook to cryogenic processing as a solution to a particular problem,” admits. “But after they have used a cryo-treated tool, their perspective changes and they come to regard non-cryo treated tools as a problem.” Following are three examples of cryogenic processing used by a tooling manufacture, a maker of flat-screen TV displays, and a paper company:
The tooling manufacturer was required by his customser to make three mandrels. A bar about ten inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter was to be weled onto the end of a standard tool holder; the run-out on the bar was to be 0.0002 inch. During two attempts to manufacture the mandrels, the tool-maker started gridning the bar to final dimensions but the heat generated by grinding warped the bar, throwing it out ot tolerance. On the third try, he brought the materials to prior to grinding. “We treated them and ,after the final grind, they stayed wher they wer supposed to,” says. “That’s how the ‘dimensional’ stability’ advantage fo cryogenic processing works.”
In another example, manufacturer of flat screen TVs made assembly line adjustments to set by inserting a non-metallic hex-shaped driver into an adjustment screw. Each driver is turned an amount determined by a readout at the station. The drivers had to be non-metallic since they were used with induction coils, and any metal brought into close proximity would bias the reading. After about 100 insertions, the corners of the drivers wore, and the driver had too much play to be useful.
“An engineer broughtuse 10 of their standard epoxy drivers, which we treated,” relates. The drivers wer five to six inches long and the hex end was about 1/4 inch flat-to-flat. “A week later,” he recounts, “the enginner told us that one of the drivers was in a test stand. At that point,it had lasted ofr 600 insertions but it had worn out three screw heads. Ultimately, the driver lasted over 1000 insertions, ten times a many as the non-treated drivers.”
A chipper in a paper mill has 15 blades that are 34 inches long,6 5/8–
inches wide , and 3/8-inch thick. A single bevel edge on one side does the cutting. “When frozen hardwood was being processed, the blades had to be changed twice per shift, which required a lot of manpower and resulted in downtime,” says. “It took three men two hours to change one set of blades. The mill had treat one set of blades, and then they put them on their system. After they completed the evaluation, they told us their annual savings from treating only that type of blade would be $200,000 in recoverd production time, increased chip quality, and reduced need for new blades. They are evaluating other uses, which, if they are adopted, will save them millions of dollars a year because they will have more uptime and need far fewer replacement parts for those processes. They found that their concept of the standard life expectancy for a part could be turned on its ear by cryogenic processing.”
Cryogenic processing can be effective wherever strength and a high degree of durabilit are essential. Foundtainhead’s business reflects this, with applications in the industrial, food processing, motor sports, govement, and miscellaneous categories. In the industrial sector are customers such as machine shops and tool and die shops that make end mills, drill bits, cols saws, carbide inserts, slitter wheels, chipper knives, copper spot weld electrodes, hammer mills, and wear plates. industrial customers incude which makes construction equipement; a paper company; Manufacturing, a Harley Davidson subcontractor; Manfacturing, a maker of industrial mixers; and Industries, the global maker of ceiling and floor tiles.
Food processing applications include food cutting knives and blades; maintenance tooling such as bits, files, and saws; and electrical transformers, AC and DC motors, and circuit boards. Customers include Foods, Potato Chips, Snack Foods, Snacks,(the chocolate bunny people), and Farms
Cryogencially treated parts in motor sports range from engine blocks to piston rings to brake rotors, for professional racers, go-cart enthusiasts, and weekend racers. Government applications include cryogenically treated gun barrels, brake parts for USPS vehicles, and potential work for Amtrak. “Miscellaneous” applications includes a far wide range of products than most people would image, from golfballs to women’s pantyhose to golf club parts, chainsaw and lawn mover blades, speakerwire, aerospace castings and components, automotive components, and much more.