Our Process

What is Thermal Cycling?

A proprietary, TRADE SECRET and patent pending temperature modulation process developed to improve the performance, strength and longevity of a variety of materials. Probably best described as “advanced cryogenics”, thermal cycling has been applied chiefly to metals to-date, although the process is also beneficial to certain plastics, polymers and composites. It is currently used by a number of industries where enhanced material performance is desired.

During the Thermal Cycling process, materials are alternately cooled and (sometimes) heated until they experience molecular reorganization. This reorganization “tightens” or optimizes the particulate structure of the material throughout, relieving stresses, and making it more dense and uniform (thereby minimizing flaws or imperfections). The tighter structure also enhances the energy conductivity and heat distribution characteristics of the material. It minimizes “hotspots”, enhances cooling, and impedes the ability and tendency of metals to vibrate; significantly reducing that as a factor in fatigue and eventual failure or breakage. Corrosion resistance is enhanced also, due to the more uniform material’s ability to impede the forces of oxidation and chemical degradation.

Ancillary processes like plating, bonding and brazing adhere better when applied before thermal cycling. The result is greater strength, resilience and durability; all combining to produce substantially improved performance, and substantially improved wear. As the process is based primarily on temperature modulation, it is efficient, clean, non-polluting, and does not alter the appearance or dimensions (measurably) of the treated material. And, because it is not a coating, it cannot be unevenly applied, and it cannot wear off.

 

Thermal Technology Services has been the leader in developing these processes for a variety of applications. A thermal cycled surgical instrument will be stronger, will stay sharper longer, will not develop cracks as quickly, will retain its flex and ability to reliably lock and unlock longer, will be easier to clean, will resist damage and tip deformation better, and require much less maintenance overall. The instruments will also better resist the destructive forces encountered during decontamination and sterile processing. The sometimes-rough handling commonly seen as they are stacked in basins and racks, subjected to moisture, chemicals, scrubbing, and the heat and vacuum of steam and flash sterilization is often underrated for its long-term destructive effects on instrumentation.

As expected, an instrument will wear until its performance is eventually compromised. It will fail, or require maintenance sooner or later. Due to the beneficial results created by our process, however, it will fail later than sooner. We believe that later is better.

The applications for this new technology are extensive (Aircraft, Automotive, Building, Industrial, Medical, Military, etc.), and will be limited only by the imagination.

Finished goods, component parts and raw materials can be treated in a customized process that takes 10 to 50 hours to complete.
In summary, Thermal Cycling:

  • Optimizes the molecular particulate structure of materials
  • Is not a surface treatment, application, or coating
  • Enhances the material throughout, and cannot wear off
  • Does not alter the appearance or coloration of materials
  • Cannot be applied unevenly
  • Does not require secondary processes to be effective
  • Does not alter the dimensions of materials or components
  • Improves other dipping and coating-type processes
  • Improves the yield strength, reduces breakage
  • Reduces wear, extends life
  • Significantly reduces harmonic amplification (Vibration)
  • Improves heat conduction for better distribution & cooling
  • Relieves stresses inherent in forged or cast materials
  • Enhances corrosion and chemical resistance
  • Will substantially extend the life of Surgical Instrumentation
  • Will substantially extend the life of Instrument trays and Containers
  • Will substantially reduce maintenance and repair costs

 

The Physics of Thermal Cycling

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Untreated Steel 3500X Magnification

 

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Thermal Cycled Steel 3500X Magnification