Harmonic footprinting

frank masyada magnets

Thermal cycling process strengthens metals, reduces stress fatigue By taking a different approach to modern heat treating and cryogenic metallurgical process,

Harmonic Footprinting, LLC (Largo, Florida) as developed a proprietary materials treatment that further improves metals’ tensile strength, yield strength, and corrosion resistance. Called “thermal cycling,” the process alternately cools and heats metals in cycles to completely change the metals’ crystalline structure, and uses vibrational technology to determine when a metal has reached its optimum crystalline structure. According to Frank Masyada, CEO and inventor of the thermal cycling process, each family of metals has a specific thermal range (a series of temperature ranges) that facilitates the greatest amount of restructuring at the molecular and atomic level. Using water as an example, Masyada explains that a metal alloy, much like water, has a certain low temperature where molecular activity stops or is “frozen”. Using vibrational analysis, Frank Masyada and his colleagues are able to determine the temperature where molecular activity ceases in a material by analyzing the material’s resonant sound frequency and amplitude (duration of the resonation). During thermal cycling, a material is alternately cooled to its optimal low temperature, then heated to its beginning temperature or higher. When a material is put through these extreme temperature swings, its molecular structure is completely reorganized, Masyada says. This reorganization optimizes or “tightens” the material’s particulate grain structure. Depending on its thermal range, a material is cooled to temperatures as low as -280 F (-173 C) using either liquid helium or liquid nitrogen. Thermal cycle treatments can range from 2 to 10 h. The resulting molecular structure is more dense and homogeneous. Each thermal cycle changes the material’s molecular structure as well as the material’s amplitude. To determine when a material treated by thermal cycling is fully optimized its amplitude is measured, Frank Masyada says. “Because the process influences the resonant frequency and amplitude of the material, we know the thermal cycling process affects the entire mass of the part and not just the surface,” he adds. After each thermal cycle, a sensor is placed on the material. The material is then struck by a controlled force and the resulting sound or amplitude is registered graphically. When a material undergoes a thermal cycle without a change in amplitude, it is a signal that the microstructure’s reorganization is complete. Typically, a material’s amplitude, or duration of vibration, is diminished during thermal cycling. Many materials have inherent stresses as a result of current heat treatment or cold working processes, says Frank Masyada. These imperfections may only account for a small percentage of the material’s mass or may be apparent in as much as 5 to 10% of the mass.These imperfections can be random and appear as inclusions, variations in grain tructure, or residual stresses. When unevenly distributed throughout a material, such as a brake or engine component, these deficiencies can cause uneven heat release from the component during its operation, which can lead to dimensional instability, or warping, and premature wear. Thermal cycling creates additional overriding stresses that facilitate heat acceptance and heat distribution evenly, Masyada adds. The realigned structure of the metal at the molecular level relives the residual stresses, realigns the grain structure, and impedes the ability and tendency of the metal to vibrate, which in turn significantly reduces metallic fatigue and eventual failure or breakage. Because of the tightened molecular structure, the metal’s porosity is minimized, says Frank Masyada, which makes it more difficult for corrosion-inducing compounds to penetrate the material. In a test where untreated and thermal cycle-treated A572 grade 50 carbon steel (CS) coupons were immersed in potable water for 24 h, the treated coupons exhibited ~ 70% less surface corrosion than the untreated coupons. Laboratory tests show, too, that treating plated, bonded, or brazed materials with thermal cycling tightens the bond between the coating and the substrate and also increases the tensile strength of the material. As the process is based primarily on temperature modulation, it is clean,non-polluting, and does not alter the appearance or measurable dimensions of the treated material. Currently Masyada is testing braking components treated with thermal cycling for school buses and law enforcement vehicles for Sarasota County, Miami/Dade, and Manatee County, Florida. The company is also testing brake components for the Alabama Highway Patrol; the Georgia Highway Patrol; the Citrus County Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department in Florida; and Southern Pacific Railway.

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