metallurgy

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metallurgy

Postby bala m » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:26 am

what is the effect of liquid nitrogen on steels? will it grind metals? if it is , what are effects on its structure...?
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Project Question: what is the effect of liquid nitrogen on steels? will it grind metals? if it is , what are effects on its structure...?
Project Due Date: 15.4.2013
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Re: metallurgy

Postby John Dreher » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:32 am

I don't know the answers to the interesting questions you posed. You might try asking at a forum specializing in such things, for example:

http://www.eng-tips.com/threadminder.cfm?pid=330

Other forums can be found with the google search "metallurgy forum".

We may be able to help with further questions you may have about turning your questions into an excellent science fair project. So please feel free to ask questions here -- even if we can't answer, we can usually at least help get the answer...
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Re: metallurgy

Postby edneu3 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:38 am

Liquid nitrogen is commonly used today as part of the process to produce ultra-tough tool steels. When used properly as part of the "tempering" process, it causes the grain size of high carbon steels to become extremely small and well organized, resulting in a tool steel that can be honed to an extremely sharp razor edge and is tougher than steels hardened other ways so that it holds its edge longer.

This is a technology that has developed over the past several years. The steels treated this way are becoming fairly common now and are marketed as "cryogenic". These make especially good woodworking tools - chisels and plane blades.

If you immerse a steel in liquid nitrogen long enough for it to attain severe sub-zero temperatures, it can become quite brittle and easily shatter - while still cold. But once warmed up to room temperature there is no long term effect. The effect is only attained if the steel is treated when it is hot, as part of the tempering process, when the crystals are free to re-orient themselves within the structure.

You can learn much, much more by searching "cryogenic steel" in Google. Here is a Wikipedia article that gives a good overview:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryogenic_hardening

Thanks for your question. Keep up your interest in science. It's FUN!
Ed Neu
Buffalo, MN
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