REM ISF process: Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    Does the ISF® Process affect part hardness?

A.    No. The ISF Process is water based and carried out at room temperature. Tempering the gears is not possible. After ISF, nital etch inspection is not necessary.  The ISF Process has been tested and proven effective in both military and industrial applications.

Q.    Does the ISF Process cause hydrogen embrittlement?

A.    The ISF Process produces a slightly oxidizing environment in the vibratory equipment and hydrogen is not generated. ISF has been repeatedly tested and proven to be free from causing hydrogen embrittlement and intragranular attack. The process is metallurgically safe.

Q.    Does the ISF Process have any detrimental effect on the geometry of the part?

A.    No. The ISF Process has been certified for use on DIN 2 (AGMA Q 13) quality gears. Material refined from the surfaces of gear flanks is uniform in profile and from tooth to tooth. Depth of material removed by the ISF Process is typically 0.0001inches.

Q.    Are there safety or environmental concerns with the chemicals used in the ISF Process?

A.    The chemicals are non-toxic and non-hazardous and have been used in industrial settings for over 15 years.

Q.    Are there special waste treatment considerations?

A.    No. Very little waste is produced by the ISF Process. The waste produced is considered non-hazardous in most applications, though Federal, State and local regulations vary and should be reviewed prior to use.

Q.    How long has this process been around and is it patented?

A.    REM Chemicals pioneered chemically accelerated vibratory finishing in 1983 and then improved it in 1989 by introducing the non-abrasive processing technique.  REM has many products and processes patented on a worldwide basis.

Cryogenic Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    Is the cryo treament a coating process?

A.    No, the cryogenic process is a one-time, permanent treatment affecting the entire object. It is not a surface coating. The item is chilled to -300 degrees Fahrenheit using a dry nitrogen atmosphere. This has an effect on the entire thru the grain structure of the part.  

Q.    How long does the process take?

A.    A typical treatment cycle will take 36 to 48 hours. Turnaround times average three days (excluding shipping time), but will depend on scheduling, quantity and size of the order.

Q.    Do you immerse the parts in liquid nitrogen?

A.    No. Our process is completely dry. Parts never come in contact with liquid. The LN2 evaporates and cools the chamber and is circulated internally by a fan.

Q.    Should I sharpen my tools before they are cryogenically treated?

A.    No, it is not necessary. Tools may be processed sharp or dull. And since cryogenics is a one-time treatment affecting the part to the core, you can re-sharpen the tool as many times as necessary without having to re-cryogenically treat the part. Therefore, you may wish to treat new tools or tools that have not been worn excessively to obtain the maximum amount of life for the least amount of cost.

Q.    Even though my cutting tools will last longer, can I expect the same performance?

A.    Yes, absolutely. In fact, a treated part or blade will not only last longer, it will also obtain and hold a superfine edge not normally achievable prior to treatment.

Q.    Does the cryogenic process increase hardness?

A.    No. There is no significant increase in the hardness of treated parts. Some metals may see 1 or 2 points of increase on the Rockwell scale. More importantly, though, the part becomes more uniform and the hardness becomes consistent throughout the part.

Q.    Metals are a given, but what other materials will benefit from cryogenics?

A.    Cryogenics is not the answer to everything, but it is very effective on all steels, alloys, and other metals as well as carbon fiber, kevlar, some plastics and polymers. Electronics is also on the list. Many other materials are under experimentation and still others have yet to be considered. If you have an application in mind, let us know. We are constantly trying new things and would be happy to test new products with you.