Metallurgical and Production Developments of Cryogenic Quenching 690343
Cryogenic quenching (“cryoquenching”) is a Grumman-patented process whereby the substitution of liquid nitrogen for water as the quenching medium during the heat treat cycle produces distortion-free parts. The process has been a Grumman production capability since 1963, and has increased from an annual rate of 25,000 parts to the present pace of more than 300,000 parts per year. Cryoquenching is now saving thousands of man-hours in the aerospace industry and has substantially increased the tool life of drop hammer dies, form dies, and press blocks. When fully optimized, the process will ultimately lead to an automated heat treating operation, with high quality hardware, manufactured at minimum cost, as the end product.