Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Cryogenic Treatment Service for Racing Components Improves Performance

This press release was released to the internet today. I wanted to add it here too, so that all our customers could see it.

New Cryogenic Treatment Service for Racing Components Improves Performance

Worcester, MA – January 8, 2009 – The Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc. announces a new cryogenic treatment service that is specially tailored for racing and other high performance enthusiasts. The latest developments are the result of the company’s continuing commitment to meet the needs of the competitive motorsports market.

“We believe that our new treatment profile for motor sports customers provides the greatest control and longest duration of any cryogenic treatment process available”, stated Robin Rhodes, President of the Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc. As the company’s founder, he has worked closely with several race teams that have become world-record holders in their performance classes for motorcycles and modified stock cars. Others, including boat, ski mobile and kart racers, have been victorious in national, regional and local contests. “Cryogenic treatment of engines, drivetrains, and brake systems results in better performance, increased output and longer part life that helps race teams win more races”, added Rhodes.

The process of cryogenically treating auto parts has become widely adopted in professional racing circuits. Racing teams that compete in NASCAR, Formula 1 and other international racing circuits have been using this technology for years, usually behind closed doors in their very private - and pricey – professional motor shops. “Our Nitrofreeze® cryogenic treatment service modifies the metallurgical microstructure of critical racing components so that recreational racers can have the same competitive edge as the World’s leading professional race teams.”, Rhodes stated.

In practice, stock, modified or custom components are sent to the company’s processing lab in Worcester, Massachusetts, where they are subject to the proprietary Nitrofreeze® cryogenic treatment process. After treatment, the parts are returned to the racer or mechanic for any additional modifications and final assembly. Common parts for cryogenic treatment include all engine components, such as cam and crank shafts, pistons and rings, connecting rods and engine blocks. Drivetrain components, including clutches, gears and shafts, and brake rotors are also widely treated.

Cryogenic treatment of racing parts benefits the components in several ways. First, residual stresses from part fabrication are removed, greatly reducing distortion, warping and fatigue failures that are caused by crack propagation of stress lines. Second, steel components adopt a uniform grain structure, eliminating imperfections that improve thermal properties such as heat dissipation. This also reduces the coefficient of friction to produce less drag. Lastly, modifications to the microstructure improve toughness, increase part stability, and greatly enhance wear resistance. “By using our Nitrofreeze® cryogenic treatment service, racers can get increased horsepower and extend the high performance life of critical components, ensuring that they can finish the race, despite the grueling demands that race conditions create”, according to Ryan M. Taylor, Product Marketing Specialist at Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc.

More information about cryogenic treatment for auto and racing parts is available on the company’s web site at,

The Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc., located at 90 Ellsworth St. Worcester, MA, is dedicated to the commercial application of cryogenic technologies to serve the needs of industry, government and scientists. The firm offers a full range of cryogenic services, including cryogenic treatment, heat & freeze thermal cycling, cryogenic deflashing & deburring services, shrink fitting services, and dry ice (CO2) blast cleaning. It also offers engineering services, cryogenic lab work in support of R & D, and custom equipment design for new and unique cryogenic applications. It is a corporate sustaining member of the Cryogenic Society of America. To learn more visit

The Cryogenic Institute of New England Inc. was founded by Robin Rhodes and he first documented the widespread use of cryogenic treatment in motor sports applications in a paper he presented at the 23rd Heat Treat Conference of the ASM Heat Treat Society, the world’s preeminent technical body on thermal processing of metals. Both Rhodes and the company have been featured in numerous stories and technical articles about cryogenic treatment. Most recently, this has included being featured in the racing industry’s leading technical journal, Race Engine Technology, for its Nitrofreeze® cryogenic processing service.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cryo Treating Audio Equipment and Components

For many years we have offered cryogenic treatment for audio equipment. Musical applications for cryo treatment include audio tubes, guitar strings, brass instruments, speakers, cables, pedals, microphones, harmonicas, and even amplifiers. However, recently some customers have decided to conduct experiments with our helium cryogenic processing service. A typical cryogenic treatment uses liquid nitrogen and normally achieves temperatures as low as -310°F. Helium processing allows temperatures to drop as low as -450°F which allows even further relief of residual stresses and increased dimensional stability.

Cryo treated equipment presents many observable results. Our customer, Charlie Kersch, noticed an extended dynamic range in his treated musical components. He also mentioned that high notes were much clearer and had less distortion. Overall, he believes that the sound quality of his components was improved. At the same time, audio component life should be extended as well.

If one wants to cryogenically treat their audio components then they should know that some parts cannot be treated and may require disassembly. In particular, plastic parts sometimes become brittle and crack during the cryogenic process. Therefore, if you want to treat an audio cable that has plastic termination plugs, then you may want to see if removing it is possible prior to cryogenic treatment. The bottom line is that metal and plastic items should be loosened or taken apart to protect plastic parts from any adverse affects.

For more information about cryogenic treatment visit For more information about cryogenic helium processing visit

I asked our customer, Charlie Kersch, the following questions via email.

1. What processes did you use? Cryogenic treatment? Cryogenic helium processing? Or both?
2. What did you treat in particular? What processes were used on these components?
3. What immediate results did you see after treatment? Were they quantifiable (IE. Did you do actual tests or are the results by ear?)?
4. What are your impressions of cryogenic treatment and/or helium processing?

His response is below.

Hello Ryan,

I am finally finding the time to return your E-mail.

I have been using both nitrogen and helium cryogenic processing. I have been trying to fing a balance between cost and results.

Nitro/cryo. items included; cables (patch, speaker, instrument, power, USB), harmonicas, analog guitar effects pedals, analog wah pedal, microphones. He/cryo. items include vacuum tubes, a Vox AC-15 handwired combo amp with a Celestion Alnico Blue speaker and instrument cables. Currently being treated are more of the same and a Hammond melodica with internal mic pick-up.

I have used quantitative test results done by others to guide what process I try. Results in my equipment have been judged by ear only. I have been on the lookout for a simple software program for documenting changes that may be observable on an oscilloscope.

I have noticed an extended dynamic range in treated equipment. High notes in particular are clearer and less brittle sounding. Longevity of equipment should be improving dramatically, but will take some time to know for sure.

I was pleasantly surprised the Vox combo-amp worked immediately on putting it back together and turning it on. One of the vacuum tubes had an dampening sleeve which cracked apart. That particular tube and the rectifier tube both developed sympathetic resonance at certain frequencies. I am not sure if the cryo treatment or poor quality tubes were to blame. I replaced both tubes with some cryo'ed NOS tubes of better quality. It's now my favorite amp to play through. I have a Fender and Victoriette to try next.

Some plastic parts cracked. Some adhesives failed. One instrument cable had the outer cover crack along its entire length; its matching partner was unscathed. The plastic part of a banana plug cracked.
The plastic comb in a harmonica cracked. Cracked plastic was repaired with cyanoacrylate and are perfectly utile.

The harmonicas played more like broken-in instruments. The reeds respond faster and bend easier. I wear out all my harmonicas by wailing loud on the bends. I am waiting to see how well the cryo'ed harps last. I sent in a couple more to be treated. Those I disassembled to avoid cracking the plastic. Any combo metal-plastic items should be loosened or taken apart for treatment.

Overall I have pleased with results. Noting better sound quality and anticipating better longevity. I would most like to see someone do objective testing on the difference between Helium process and multiple treatments with nitrogen. So far I have been able to compare cables treated with helium to those treated once with nitrogen. The sound difference was easily audible; esp. in the high frequency range. The Helium cables also become much more flexible compared to the Nitro cables.

Guitar strings play more like broken-in strings and stay bright longer in both tone and visually.


Charlie Kersch

Labels: , , , , , , ,