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Cryogenic Machining

The Frost Bite and Company provides localized retro fitments to your existing machines to use the concept of Cryogenic Machining.

Please contact us for further details on Cryogenic Machining

Is It Dangerous To Use Nitrogen Instead of Coolant?

Nitrogen is an inert gas, and it’s very safe for user interaction. Nitrogen is 78% of the air we breathe. Because there is a cold factor, there are small safety measures that should be put in place, such as handling tools using gloves or aprons. But it’s quite easy to handle overall. Liquid nitrogen is probably a much less dangerous material to use than the relatively complex chemistries found in things like coolant.

Is LN2 A New Development For Industrial Use?

Liquid nitrogen has been used very successfully in other industries. For example, it’s commonly used in the food processing industry. Flash freezing food has been going on for decades. For example, fishing industries use liquid nitrogen to flash freeze fish while out at sea and also to prepare delicious ice creams.

Sounds Fairly Common. Can You Think Of Any Other Examples?

Many high-end restaurants actually use liquid nitrogen for a type of cuisine called molecular gastronomy.

Are There Any Advantages For Operators?

Operators who run cryogenic machines are relieved because they no longer have to suffer with dermatitis issues, or with coolant smell being ingrained into their clothes and body. There are also bronchitis and lung-related problems that come from the mist in the air, and these are alleviated by using nitrogen. “Quality of life” is an excellent benefit that makes for a happier workforce and may even help with attracting and keeping highly skilled workers.

Are There Any Other Hazards in The Machine Shop That Cryogenic Machine can Solve?

A common accident-related issue in plants today is “slip-and-fall.” This is especially dangerous on large machines where the operators have to go out on the machine to get something set up or clear chips out. With traditional coolants you get oily residue all over the machine, so slip-and-falls are a problem. When using cryo this is completely eliminated.

How Does The Operator Manage Chips?

When you take cutting fluids out of a machine there’s a huge benefit regarding chip management. Now your chips are dry and not sticky. They’re lighter, and therefore much easier to manage and move. So what we do is simply manage chips using air assist. You might be shocked at how easy it is to move titanium and steel chips around at a machine when there’s no coolant on the chips.

If Someone Transitioned To Using Cryogenic Machining, What If They Wanted To Revert Back To Coolant Machining? Is Cryo An Irreversible Change?

We’ve had a few customers who’ve chosen to leave external flood coolant on a machine as kind of a safety net while they bridged the gap into 100% cryogenic machining. If for some reason that customer wants to run through-spindle coolant again, taking the hardware back off of the machine is not a very difficult task.

What About Cost? Isn't Cryogenic Machining Expensive?

If you look at it as a one-to-one comparison, purchased by the liter, liquid nitrogen is actually less expensive than water. There are a lot of commercial suppliers to purchase liquid nitrogen from, so it’s very competitively priced. The way liquid nitrogen is produced is its simply taken from the atmosphere and compressed under very high pressures into liquid form, and then we’re simply sending it right back to the atmosphere. So when you do the math and look at cost-per-piece, it’s a very inexpensive, readily available, sustainable way to machine parts.