Air Products has licensed its proprietary cryogenic machining technology to Advanced Research Systems, Inc. (ARS), a leading manufacturer of industrial and research cryogenic equipment, including ARS’ globally renowned low-temperature cryostats.
The technology license agreement gives ARS extensive rights to Air Products’ patented ICEFLY® Cryogenic Machining Technology, which has been applied broadly to the machining of metals and polymer materials.
Included in the agreement is the transfer of ICEFLY® cryogen delivery equipment design information and cryogenic machining know-how developed by Air Products. ICEFLY cryogen delivery equipment is compact, easily retrofitted to automated machine tools and machining centers, and can deliver either a consistent, saturated stream of liquid nitrogen for metals machining or a preset low-temperature gaseous nitrogen stream for polymer machining.
When used for metals machining, the vaporisation of liquid nitrogen targeted at the cutting tool provides efficient cooling during the cutting operation, thereby enhancing tool life, enabling increased cutting speeds and feeds, and displacing the use of conventional coolants. When used for polymer machining, especially for applications within the medical segment where the use of traditional coolants may be undesirable or unacceptable, the equipment can deliver a predetermined low-temperature gaseous nitrogen stream to minimise and, in many cases, eliminate burrs on the work piece.
“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,” said Jeffrey Knopf, manager, Licensing and Technology Transfer at Air Products. “We also welcome the opportunity to provide ARS customers with our safe and reliable liquid nitrogen supply. As a global industrial gas supplier and recognised leader in cryogenic technology applications, Air Products has the experience and know-how to help ARS customers determine the most efficient and economical nitrogen supply option to meet their specific needs.”
“We are pleased to offer ICEFLY Cryogenic Machining Technology as a licensee of Air Products and look forward to building on their applications and equipment design experience,” said Ravi Bains, president of ARS.
Bains adds, “Collaboration between a technology and operations-focused company such as Air Products and a mid-size specialty cryogenics business such as ARS is an effective model to commercialise the cryomachining solution to the machining segment.”
ARS will offer applications expertise and market ICEFLY cryogen delivery equipment under a newly formed subsidiary called Industrial Cryogenic Technologies (ICT), a company that offers both ICEFLY equipment and turnkey offerings to integrate the cryomachining solution.