Replacing traditional cooling fluids with liquid nitrogen for machining plastics and metals reportedly boosts tool life while allowing faster cutting. Air Products, Lehigh Valley, Pa., has licensed its proprietary cryogenic machining technology to Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (ARS), Macungie, Pa., a manufacturer of cryogenic equipment.
Air Products reports that the vaporization of liquid nitrogen targeted at the cutting tool provides efficient cooling during the cutting operation, while enhancing tool life, increasing cutting speeds and feeds, and displacing the use of conventional coolants.
Design of Air Products’ Icefly cryogen delivery equipment and cryogenic machining know-how are part of the agreement.
The company describes Icefly as a compact unit that is easily retrofitted to automated machine tools and machining centers. It can deliver either a consistent, saturated stream of liquid nitrogen for metals machining or a preset low-temperature gaseous nitrogen stream for polymer machining.
In plastics machining, especially for medical applications where traditional coolants may be undesirable or unacceptable, the equipment can deliver a predetermined low-temperature gaseous nitrogen stream to minimize or eliminate burrs on the workpiece.
ARS will offer applications expertise and market Icefly equipment under a newly formed subsidiary called Industrial Cryogenic Technologies (ICT).