Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Snow brings green machining to laboratory

17.03.2005


University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a novel machining technique that uses a jet of solid carbon dioxide (CO2) to cool/lubricate the surface of metal parts and remove the cut material during machining. Called Snow-Machining, the process could someday eliminate the use of oil-based or synthetic chemical fluids for metal cutting and metal parts cleaning in industry.



The Snow-Machining technology creates a high velocity stream of small, micron-size dry ice particles through the process of adiabatic expansion of liquid carbon dioxide as it passes through a 0.012 inch diameter nozzle. The resulting particulate CO2 acts as a mechanical force to blast away the waste metal material while at the same time cooling and lubricating the surface of the machined part.

Experts in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University estimate that American industry uses more than 100 million gallons of metalworking oil each year and that the amount of cutting fluids used is at least several times that of metalworking oil.


The use of "snow" means that the machining process can be made to produce virtually zero hazardous waste, since carbon dioxide is environmentally benign. Other advantages over traditional cleaning and cooling fluids come with the fact that carbon dioxide also is inexpensive, nonflammable, recyclable and plentiful. The Los Alamos process was developed to improve "dry" machining techniques for the nuclear weapons programs. Although the Laboratory has moved toward using "dry" machining technologies in many of its manufacturing techniques, the technology is limited to depth of cuts of less than 1/1000th of an inch and feed rates of 2/10,000ths of an inch per revolution.

The Snow-Machining system has already demonstrated improved performance and cost savings over traditional dry machining in terms of enhancing the surface finish and by increasing the life of the cutting tool.

The result of a collaboration between the Chemistry Division’s Supercritical Fluids Team and the Small Scale Experiments group of the Nuclear Material Technology Division, the technology has been expanded into traditional machining applications by the Laboratory’s Pollution Prevention program, where the process will help reduce/eliminate the amount of radioactive hazardous liquid wastes produced by the machining and the cleaning of uranium at the Laboratory.

The invention follows on the heels of an earlier Laboratory success where scientists developed the use of liquid carbon dioxide to replace cleaning fluids in the dry cleaning industry. The Los Alamos invented process is now widely used in the commercial dry cleaning industry.

Todd Hanson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lanl.gov

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

nachricht Intelligent wheelchairs, predictive prostheses
20.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>