Cryogenic Tempering

Problem: Polar Cryogenics is a small start- up company that does cryogenic tempering of metals. When the Wright Technology Network (WTN) first started working with them they were located in the Hamilton County Business Facility, an incubator located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Polar Cryogenics subsequently outgrew the incubator and in the fall of 1998 moved to their present location in Batavia, Ohio.  Their process has proven very successful in extending the useful life of metals by making them both more wear and fatigue resistant.  The company feels that their process is unique and is planning to file a patent application.  Polar Cryogenics knows the results of their process, but would like to better understand the physical changes that occur during the tempering process.  This information would also assist greatly in obtaining patent protection for their proprietary process.

Technology specialists from WTN and software experts from the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/ML) visited the Polar Cryogenics production facility and reviewed their process and equipment.  It was decided that the AFRL scientists could provide Polar Cryogenics the most help by taking samples of the composite metals which were being cryogenically tempered and try and determining what physical changes, if any, were being caused by the tempering process.  AFRL metallurgists are in the process of examining samples of the composite metals before and after cryogenic tempering to determine what structural changes are taking place.


  • Enhanced wear characteristics in metals.
  • The Air Force would benefit from learning about possible new methods of treating metals that could make them more wear and fatigue resistant.

Current Status:

  • Air Force experts have polished metal samples provided by Polar Cryogenics.  They are in the process of examining them with the aid of an electron microscope.
  • A report of their findings is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 1999.
If you have any questions about this Technical Assistance Project or are interested in getting more information about Wright Technology Network and technology transfer, please contact Jim Singer (937) 253-0217 or crada@wtn.org.

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