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ICEFLY® Cryogen Delivery System

Overview:

Air Products is offering for license a proprietary technology for the delivery of a controlled flow of a cryogen to a targeted cooling application.  Such applications exist in machining applications where mitigation of heat generation is desirable to enhance tool life, cutting speed or preserve work piece integrity that might otherwise be adversely affected by heat generation.  Other cooling applications exist in such areas as the life sciences, analytical technology, polymer processing, stone cutting and the food segment where targeted application of a cryogen is desirable to rapidly reduce the temperature at a point location.  The ICEFLY® cryogen delivery system enables intense cooling through delivery of a cryogen via a “tube-in-tube” configuration.  In many cryogenic fluid transfer applications, it is important that the fluid be transferred in a 100% liquid state or as close to 100% as possible since available refrigeration is optimally gained from the phase change of a liquid to a gas (latent heat of vaporization).  Historically, and particularly in low flow applications, this required the fluid to be initially phase-separated and/or subcooled in a heat exchanger and/or vacuum jacketed by a supply line to keep it well insulated.  Otherwise, heat leak from the surrounding environment to the cryogen would cause boil-off, thereby causing flow undulations in the transfer line resulting in non-steady, pulsing and generally undesirable flow.  The ICEFLY® cryogen delivery system addresses this first concern for cryogenic transfer lines with a coaxial or "tube-in-tube" geometry.  With such a configuration, the first portion of the cryogenic fluid flows through the inner tube while a second portion flows through an annulus between the inner tube and outer tube.  By maintaining the annulus at a lower pressure than the inside tube, the liquid in the annulus can provide a refrigeration duty to the liquid inside the inner tube (e.g. such as by boiling) such that the inner liquid is cooled and stays in a saturated liquid state.  It is also important in many cryogenic fluid transfer applications that the transfer line be lightweight and flexible.  This provides for flexibility during installation, operation and maintenance of the cryogenic supply system at the application point and also enables the cryogenic transfer line to withstand repeated bending.  The ICEFLY® cryogen delivery system addresses this concern for cryogenic transfer lines through the judicious use of flexible polymeric materials in a portion of the delivery system.

Benefits:

  • Controlled, low flow rate delivery of a liquid cryogen to a cooling application point 
    • Control liquid/gas phase to mitigate undesirable flow characteristics
    • Demonstrated delivery of liquid cryogen up to 60 feet from a cryogen storage source 
    • Maintain consistent refrigeration duty at an application point
    • Complete system for transfer of cryogen from liquid source to application point
    • Flexible transfer line for ease of positioning cryogen to application point during installation and ongoing operation / maintenance of the cryogen delivery system
    • Cryogen storage and flow control equipment  available from Air Products
    • Multiple applications in wide range of industrial segments

    IP Table

    Title

    Priority Patent Docket No.

    Apparatus and Method for Transferring a Cryogen Fluid US 6,513,336

    ICEFLY® Cryogen Delivery System
     


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