Cryogenic Treatment for TREMEC Transmission Gears
What is Cryogenics?
Cryogenics is an area of physics that studies the production and behavior of materials at very low temperatures, at least −180 °C or -292.00 °F low! Liquid nitrogen or liquid helium is often used to bring the temperature down to extremely low temperatures. During WWII, scientists found metals frozen to these low temperatures showed more resistance to wear and in 1966, the first company offering the treatment opened.
What does Cryogenic Treatment do to gears?
Gears are made of steel and when steel is brought down to cryogenic temperatures, it changes on a molecular level. The metal is frozen to the core and the molecules which were haphazardly positioned are now compressed, have taken a crystalized shape, and orderly line up with one another. The frozen gears are gradually brought back to room temperature and the molecules spread back out evenly, but they maintain their new crystalized shape and continue to face the same direction.
This is much too small to see with the naked eye, of course, but it does noticeably change the appearance of the gear. Even though the gear was smooth and reflective before, after treatment, the gear has a mirror like appearance and the surface is extremely slick.
If the molecules were in a big game of Red Rover before, they were holding hands and facing different directions. As a result, scratches and wear could break those bonds, leading to chipped or rounded gears. Freezing these Red Rover playing molecules, will cause them to huddle up, arms linked, shoulder-to-shoulder, and face one direction. Now, it becomes much harder to break their bonds or to chip, scratch and round the gears.
How will Cryogenic Treatment effect the performance of my transmission?
The greatest benefit of the cryogenic treatment is torque capacity. If your engine’s power band is outside the limits of the TREMEC Magnum or the TKO, treating the gears can raise the transmission’s torque capacity up to an acceptable level. With treatment, the TKO goes from 600 lb-ft torque to 950 lb-ft and the Magnum goes from 700 lb-ft to 1100 lb-ft.
Durability is a secondary benefit. The treated gears will last much longer than untreated gears.