Industrial gas supplier Air Products licensed a cryogenic machining technology it developed to Advanced Research Systems Inc. (ARS), a manufacturer of industrial and research equipment for cryogenic processes. Specifically, ARS will gain Air Products’ Icefly® cryogen delivery equipment design information and cryogenic machining know-how.
Specific terms of the license agreement were not revealed. Previously, Air Products has offered the Icefly system in North America only.
In machining (cutting or turning), “cryogenics” involves targeting the cutting tool and/or workpiece with liquid nitrogen (e.g., -200° C) to cool the surface, thereby allowing higher-speed/feed processing, and eliminating the need for standard coolants.
Also, by targeting the insert with the liquid nitrogen, cryogenics may extend tool life and improve machine performance.
According to Air Products, the Icefly system also is used in machining polymer materials, especially for medical parts or implants, where standard coolants may not be acceptable. Icefly equipment delivers a predetermined volume of low-temperature gaseous nitrogen to minimize or eliminate burrs on the workpiece.
Air Products stated that Icefly has been adopted commercially by manufacturers using cryogenics to machine metals and polymer materials. It is described as a compact system that can be retrofitted easily to machine tools and machining centers.
“We are confident that ARS has the engineering and cryogenic equipment fabrication capabilities to successfully apply, offer, and support Icefly Cryogenic Machining Technology in the machining marketplace,” stated Air Products’ Jeffrey Knopf, manager, Licensing and Technology Transfer at Air Products.
ARS designs and manufactures cryogenic technologies, including a line of low-temperature cryostats, and develops cryogenic applications for manufacturing electronics, welding, controls, design, assembly and testing.
It will offer market Icefly delivery equipment under a newly formed subsidiary called Industrial Cryogenic Technologies, which is offering Icefly equipment and turnkey, integrated cryo-maching programs.