It has long been understood that by subjecting metal tools to elevated temperatures
and then rapidly cooling them, the properties of the metal can be altered. This
happens because the crystal structure of the metal is altered to change the way the
metal reacts when in use.
The two main crystals in tooling steel are the larger and softer austenite and the
smaller, more stable martensite. Through heat treatment, we look to transform the
austenite to marten site to produce steel with good wear characteristics and an amount
of ductile properties.
When combined with a good quality heat treatment, the cryogenic process greatly enhances
the austenic transformation. Also at these extreme temperature of -301F (-185C),
fine ‘eta’ carbides are formed within the carbon structure. Growing very slowly
and only at these very low temperatures, ‘eta; carbides are extremely small and act
as a ‘filler’ between the other crystals in the metal.
The combined effect of the cryogenic processing is to produce a refined crystal structure
in your hand tool that will give a lifetimes service by producing a blade that will
retain its edge longer and give a superior ‘feel’ in use.
Q Will my blade need re-treating after time?
A No, cryogenics is a once only, through tool treatment
Q Couldn’t I get the same effect by ‘dipping’ my blade in Nitrogen?
A No, you will produce thermal shock in the tool making it unstable. We use a sealed
chamber that is computer controlled to give repeatable quality levels. The process
takes several days to complete.
Q What happens when I re-sharpen my blade?
A Use a gently sharpening motion with plenty of coolant, that way you will need
to remove less worn tool than before to produce a perfect edge.