April 15, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) has introduced its new ICEFLY machining technology, an unconventional solution to metals cutting. The patented offering is designed for hard-to-machine materials like titanium, hardened steels, and ferrous powdered metals, allowing for precision cutting at rates of up to 200 percent faster.
The technology uses a small amount of liquid nitrogen, aimed directly at the cutting tool, to rapidly remove heat and strengthen the cutting insert. The nitrogen gas vaporizes, leaving no coolant residue on parts or equipment. The dimensional accuracy and surface finish are also maintained and in many cases can be improved. In addition, significant improvement in surface hardness and compressive residual stress have been demonstrated for hardened steels.
"The ICEFLY technology is a significant advancement over other cooling or dry machining solutions," said Dr. Ranajit Ghosh, Lead Researcher for the technology, "Air Products has leveraged its expertise in cryogenics and metals treating to develop this exciting new technology for hard-to-machine applications."
The ICEFLY system can increase tool life up to 250 percent, reducing tooling costs and machine downtime for tool changeovers. Its ability to offset the extreme temperatures normally generated during machining of very hard materials can permit manufacturers to machine in the fully hardened condition, potentially eliminating processing steps such as heat-treating. In some cases, the machined surfaces are improved sufficiently to eliminate subsequent finishing steps such as grinding.
Air Products provides complete start-up assistance and operator training as part of the offering, as well as the liquid nitrogen. The technology easily retrofits most existing machinery.
ICEFLY will be introduced at Eastec 2004—the Eastern States Exposition Grounds, West Springfield, Mass., May 25-27, 2004.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.