COLD AS ICE TECHNOLOGY IS A WHITE HOT BREAKTHROUGH
By Mike Riley
Want to get more competitive? Check out the recent advancements, capabilities and advantages of Minimum Quantity Cryogenics machining that will be on display next month at IMTS, including dramatic increases in material removal rates and extended tool life on difficult-to-machine materials.
As IMTS 2012 approaches next month, so does the excitement about all of the new technologies that will be on display on the show floors at McCormick Place in Chicago. We report on four of these new applications in our cover series in this issue. One of the process breakthroughs that I’m particularly interested in revisiting at the show this year is the Minimum Quantity Cryogenics (MQC) machining technology from MAG IAS LLC (Erlanger, KY).
Using coolants to reduce the heat generated during machining dates back to the use of plain water in the 1800s. As cutting fluids grew more sophisticated over time with oils, oil-water emulsions, pastes, gels, aerosols, air and other gases, so did the problems of collection, workpiece contamination and disposal. Cryogenic machining was introduced as a solution to these problems.
But those first cryogenic applications had problems of their own because the original systems sprayed cryogens at the cutting area as if they were conventional wet coolants. “That use of liquid nitrogen to cool cutting tools was inefficient,” recalls George Georgiou, the cryogenics product manager of MAG. “It required high flow rates and the cryogen vaporized before it could even get to the cutting interface, losing most of its cooling ability.”
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About the Author: Mike Riley is the editor of Fabricating & Metalworking magazine and the author of Backfield In Motion (Derek Press, 2007). Share your thoughts with him at 205-681-3393 or email@example.com.