Cryogenics 101

By Uncle D | July 29, 2019
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CONNECTING ROD STRENGTHENING

another competitive edge that separates us, from them

OUR PROCESS

Our cryogenic process is NOT a surface treatment. It is a one-time, permanent, irreversible process that penetrates completely through the entire material structure of the connecting rod increasing its wear resistance. This allows the component to appear “stronger” reducing the possibility of chipping, cracking or breaking.

From start to finish, through computer control, we slowly diffuse nitrogen gas into a vacuum-sealed chamber. This step takes 12 hours to hit our target temp of -300 degrees. We DO NOT immerse our rod stock into liquid nitrogen. That would cause thermal shock and would destroy the alloy. To complete the process, the alloy is then “soaked” for a period of up to 24 hours at -300 degrees F., and then slowly brought back up to ambient temperature over the course of 12 hours.

Most competitors will do a 10-12 hour soak. By using internal heating elements, the components are blasted right back up to ambient temperature all within a 24-hour time-frame. Although this will allow a quick turn-around for the customer, it is NOT recommended as that particular kind of method is not enough for adequate stress relieving, molecular alignment and component strengthening. A typical cycle with our patented process usually runs approximately 2 days or more. NO dimensional changes or chance of thermal shock to the alloy stock is possible using our strict computer-controlled process.

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HISTORY

Scientists made a startling discovery at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johnson Manned Spacecraft Center when first examining hardware and material brought back from long stints in space. The extremely low temperatures of space created stronger material than when it originally manufactured. This led to an in-depth research program resulting in new standard procedures. Today, cryogenic treatment is standard practice for all materials and hardware destined for the heavens above us.

Few organizations in the world are as meticulous in their testing programs as NASA. What is good enough for them has got to be good enough for the high-performance automotive sector. Those “in the know” are already reaping the rewards of treating their high performance motorsport components.

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STRESS RELIEVING

Subjecting our connecting rods to temperatures of -300 degrees F., this creates a denser, aligned molecular structure. The results? A stress-relieved connecting with strength exceeding what the alloy exhibited when it left the foundry!

Residual stresses exist in all types of components. This stress is introduced into the parts at the time of forging, casting, and/or heat treating. These stresses create a complex, invisible (to the naked eye) random pattern in the alloy. This causes uneven expansion and dimensional instability.

Stress relief takes place when the entire mass of the alloy is at an equal temperature (surface and core), and slowly cycled (less than one degree per minute) through a wide temperature range. Cycling these components to ultra-low temperatures for prolonged periods results in a very dense molecular state. The resistance to warping and distortion increases its performance and durability.

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ADVANTAGES

There has been a lot of skeptics along the way, but no one can argue with its success, Cryogenics works and is here to stay. Just ask anyone in NASCAR, drag racing, Auto-X, dirt track, open wheel…ANY seriously competitive facet of Motorsports is using this process. Even funny man and massive car enthusiast, Jay Leno, is a firm believer.

It all boils down to more “bang for the buck”. You can get a longer living, more durable connecting rod for just a couple of days or so in a computer-controlled super freezer!

  • Reduced warping and distortion of the connecting rod
  • Drastically reduce the chance of hairline fracturing
  • Components can run at hotter temperatures without any adverse effects
  • Is an irreversible, one-time permanent treatment that lasts the entire life of the rod
  • Improvement in our VADER surface coating’s adhesion properties
  • The stress reduction of the alloy that was introduced at the time of manufacturing
  • Stabilizes the component which reduces friction, heat and wear
  • Reduction in downtime,replacement, and maintenance costs
  • Reduced bearing fretting
  • Increase your number of trips to the winners circle which will yield sloppy kisses from hot chicks

We are no stranger when it comes to Cryogenics and we've been doing since FFWD's inception in 1999. All done in-house before one single chip is thrown.

End of story.