NASA Tech Briefs

Innovations developed by NASA and its industry partners in a wide array of fields.

Wind Systems

Towers, turbines, gearboxes; processes for shaping and finishing component parts.

Desktop Engineering

Design, simulation, test, prototyping and high performance computing.

Quality Magazine

Techniques to improve quality on the shop floor and in manufacturing planning.

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Some Special Treatments

These processes are in the early stages of development. Their effectiveness is as yet unproven.

Cryogenic Treatments: Cryogenic treatments, usually applied on hardened steels, slowly cool down the substrate to about -166 ºC (-300 ºF) (supposedly) to increase the density of the materials and thus increase wear resistance and dimension stability. However, it is still arguable whether cryogenic treatments significant extend the service life in real applications or not. (See also Cryogenic Treatment in the heat treatments section.)

Vibration Treatments: Vibration treatments intend to relieve thermal stress built-up in heat treatments through vibrations and therefore increase the wear life. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these treatments remains to be proved.

Magnetic Treatments: Magnetic treatments intend to alter the line-up of atoms in materials (e.g., tool steels) through magnetic fields and hopefully improve the wear life. However, the effectiveness of these treatments remains to be proved.