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CRYOGENIC TREATMENT

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by know talent, Jul 9, 2008.
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  1. linuxworks
    look, if the musicians had *intended* the audio to sound cold, they'd have gone outside to make the recording.

    sheesh.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. s1rrah
    I cryo treat all my shaving razors.

    I also had my skateboard done.

    I swear by it.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. linuxworks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by s1rrah /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I cryo treat all my shaving razors.



    I have a beard and so all I have to do is cryo treat my whiskers and then simply 'tap' and they fall off by themselves! [​IMG]
     
  4. Lornecherry
    It definately works.

    I live in Canada. This time of year, everyone becomes Cryro treated. And we sound so much better then Americans.
     
  5. oogabooga
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by oicdn /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    In all seriousness, I don't understand how it COULDN'T change the sound of a cable. The molecular structure was altered.



    Sorry to dredge up such an old reply, but could someone perhaps explain HOW the molecular structure is altered?
     
  6. punk_guy182
    I don't know much about cryo-treatment. However, I know that when you lower the temperature to the absolute 0 (0Kelvin or -273degrees Celcius), there is no atom dynamic activity. All the particles stop moving. Therefore, no enegy in the form of heat is spread. Electricity is better conducted that way.

    However, the cable comes back to room temperature and saying that the cable is altered in anyway because of being put in extreme cold? Maybe, but there is no scientific proof that the atoms are realigned in such a way that SQ is improved. If that were the case we would hear a whole lot more about cryotreatment in general and not just for SQ issues.
     
  7. Uncle Erik Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by punk_guy182 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    If that were the case we would hear a whole lot more about cryotreatment in general and not just for SQ issues.



    Cryo has been used for decades to extend the life of tools. A few searches will pull up lots of information and you should be able to find a few businesses near you that offer the treatment.

    While cryo helps with the physical wear of tools, I have not seen evidence that it alters, let alone betters, sound quality.

    If you want to give it a try, take some cables over to the nearest cryo business. They'll charge you $5-$10 to cryo treat your cables. Cryo is really inexpensive. Some cable manufacturers pump up the price to several hundred, but that just goes to line their pockets. If they'll rip you for $300 on a $5 process, what does that tell you about the rest of their claims?
     
  8. helicopter34234
    I am a getting my PhD in Applied Physics and Material Science so I will give my opinion on the matter. Forgive my grammar/spelling, it is late. I believe that cryo treatment has a few particular niche applications (e.g. forming martensite in heat treated high carbon steels) with very specific mechanisms for material enhancement. However, the idea became popularized that cooling any material could "make it better."

    The only time cryogenic cooling really does anything is if you need enough undercooling to overcome the barrier to a phase transformation toward a more energetically favorable state. For instance, in heat treated high carbon steels (like drill bits and files, etc.), you heat the steel above its austinizing temperature and then quench (in water/oil) to room temp to achieve martensite. Sometimes you can get retained austinite which is less energetically favorable than martensite, so cryo cooling can force the transition.

    http://www.efunda.com/processes/heat.../cryogenic.cfm

    This only applies for a select number of materials such as heat treated steels which may be stuck in a "higher temperature phase." As far as I know you won't get much of a response from pure copper, plastic, or organic material like wood. On the other hand, you can cause microcracking. If there is any retained water (e.g. in wood) and you freeze, the water will expand and cause microcracks (e.g. freezer burn in your steak). This is not desired. Also, in an inhomogenous material, changes in thermal expansion of the different phases could cause similar thermal cracking even at slow cooling rates.

    The reference to Bose condensates isn't relevant. You need to reach fractions of a degree Kelvin to get there and you can really only accomplish this for a few particles at a time using laser cooling. Also reaching a materials superconducting state wouldn't matter, the atoms do not significantly rearrange on the transition so once you raise the temp again there would be no remanence of a change.

    In many instances thermal treatment of materials can cause a large change in material properties. However, in almost all cases the thermal treatment involves raises the temperature for a short while, not cooling it. The electrical properties of metals and semiconductors tend to improve as the the degree of crystallinity improves. For instance, Silicon devices (e.g. flat panel displays) are often annealed (raised to higher temperature) to improve crystal structure. At higher temperatures, the atoms are more mobile and the crystal can "heal" the defects such as vacancies, dislocations, grain boundaries, etc created during the initial solidication. Raising the temperatures increases the rate at which the material decays to its equilibrium state (in this case closer to a single crystal of silicon). You can also anneal steels by raising their temperature and cooling slowly to room temp to soften them, increasing their ductility. You are thermally activating diffusive pathways for the microstructure to reorganize. Lowering the temperature would do the opposite, slow down atomic mobilities and freeze a particular crystal structure in place preventing any atomic restructuring from occuring.

    I can't rule at weird existances of material phases that occur far below room temperature that the material can be trapped in on cryo treatment, but this is very very unlikely for any material in your audio equiptment. I doubt you have any heat treated high carbon steel in your audio equiptment. Also there could be other occurances that I have not considered. It would take a really well controlled study showing statistically significant improvements from cryo treatment to convince me. Remember that it is very easy draw incorrect conclusion if you base it on a few offhand observations. But from a material science standpoint, there is no reason to expect any benifit from cryo treatment.

    Also remember that most equiptment/components have an environmental temperature range. If you put an IC chip, cap, etc. through a thermal cycle down to -180 you might cause something to crack.
     
  9. digger945
    So can we say that room temperature may not be the end of the cooling cycle, only a holding point, and then consider the liquid nitro the sudden quenching to force the transition?

    Does this type of procedure work mainly with ferrite materials/alloys?

    I just wanted to say very interesting post, thank you for taking the time to share with us.
     
  10. helicopter34234
    Quote:

    So can we say that room temperature may not be the end of the cooling cycle, only a holding point, and then consider the liquid nitro the sudden quenching to force the transition?



    Yes, but only if there is a transition that needs forcing. An interesting example of energetic barriers is that of the water freezing. Below 0 degrees C, solid water is the equillibrium phase of water. Water melts at 0 degree because there is no barrier to melting but on freezing there is an energetic barrier to the nucleation of small water crystals so water usually needs to be undercooled to about -2 degrees C to overcome the barrier. In the extreme case of water that has no sites for heterogenous nucleation (very smooth container with no dirt particles), water can be undercooled to about -38 degrees C before homogenous nucleation of solid water crystals occurs.

    Keep in mind that not all transitions are favorable for the mechanical properties of the material. Heat treatments are very precisely engineered to obtain the mechanical properties desired. Changes in the heat treatment can cause drastic changes in the mechanical properties. You can take a piece of 1095 steel and change if from incredibly low hardness and high ductillity (annealing), to incredibly hard and brittle (water quenching), to incredibly tough (water quenching and then tempering) just by changing the thermal cycling.

    Quote:

    Does this type of procedure work mainly with ferrite materials/alloys?



    I believe that high carbon steels that were quenched are the main application of the technique where there is an actual desirable outcome. Cryo treatment of an annealed steel sample would not do anything.
     
  11. digger945
    Sorry, what I should have said was "ferrite materials as opposed to non ferrous(copper, brass, etc.), non ferrous materials being the primary material used for IC's and other audio signal transmission lines(the material in question by the OP I believe).

    I got into this a number of years ago with knife making and metal folding.
    Also have read a lot about 1000 yard benchrest marksmen using cryo treated barrels, but for a reduction in vibration leading to inaccuracy downrange(1000yrds is a long way).

    Thanks again.
     
  12. helicopter34234
    Yes, it works mostly for ferrous materials, but not all ferrous materials. Most of the ferrous material in your audio equiptment is annealed (or close to it in microstructure) therefore would not have any retained austinite and thus not benefit from cryo. Martensite is extremely hard and brittle anyways, you would not want wires to made of martensite, they would just fracture.

    Quote:

    Also have read a lot about 1000 yard benchrest marksmen using cryo treated barrels, but for a reduction in vibration leading to inaccuracy downrange



    Vibrations are controlled by the elastic modulus of the material and the average density, neither of which change with heat treatment. Only the plastic deformation properties of the material change with heat treatment. I guess the damping properties (reduing vibration) of the metal could change but I am not sure exactly how they would.
     
  13. Omega
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by punk_guy182 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I don't know much about cryo-treatment. However, I know that when you lower the temperature to the absolute 0 (0Kelvin or -273degrees Celcius), there is no atom dynamic activity. All the particles stop moving. Therefore, no enegy in the form of heat is spread. Electricity is better conducted that way.

    However, the cable comes back to room temperature and saying that the cable is altered in anyway because of being put in extreme cold? Maybe, but there is no scientific proof that the atoms are realigned in such a way that SQ is improved. If that were the case we would hear a whole lot more about cryotreatment in general and not just for SQ issues.




    Sorry, this post bugs me, and seeing as this is the Sound Science forum, I want to dispense some Sound Science!

    Nothing in Science is ever proven. There are hypotheses which are supported, or contradicted by experiment. Some are supported so widely and convincingly they become theories and laws. But they are never proven. It is philosophically impossible to PROVE something...the best you can do is to show that it is logically consistent. So whenever I hear someone tell me something is "scientifically proven" or not...my BS detector goes off, because if they had real evidence, then they would be presenting that real evidence to me so that it could speak for itself.

    There is no real thing as absolute zero. How could you achieve it? Interaction with ANY neighboring atom or wave(?) would transmit energy and break the absolute zero state.

    The final thing that bugs me is the assumption "if it were really so great, then we'd all be hearing about it." Every idea starts somewhere, when nobody has heard of it. Many products start out in a niche before they become generally applicable.

    There are many examples where popular opinion has been wrong. For example, popular opinion used to hold that smoking "opened up" airways in the lungs. This opinion was so entrenched that bikers in the Tour de France routinely smoked during the race, under the belief that it would help them breathe. Evidence today (the documentation of emphysema, the fact that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor) clearly shows that smoking has a null (at best) or likely negative effect on lung function. What everyone knew to be true was totally contradicted by reproducible objective evidence.

    On a different note, I really appreciate the skepticism! If cryogenic treatment were really valuable, there should be physical evidence of this value.
     
  14. royalcrown
    Omega, your post about scientific proof boils down mainly to a matter of semantics. Sure there's no absolute proof, but if he had rephrased his statement to "there is no scientific evidence supporting that the atoms are realigned in such a way that SQ is improved," would you have had such objections? The thrust of his argument, terminology aside, is that there's no basis for believing that cryogenic treatment affects sound quality, and in that sense, what you're saying isn't mitigating his point. I understand your objects with the word "proof," and they're fine and good, but they detract from his main argument that for the most part is pretty clear and apparent.
     
  15. ph0rk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by royalcrown /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Omega, your post about scientific proof boils down mainly to a matter of semantics. Sure there's no absolute proof, but if he had rephrased his statement to "there is no scientific evidence supporting that the atoms are realigned in such a way that SQ is improved," would you have had such objections? The thrust of his argument, terminology aside, is that there's no basis for believing that cryogenic treatment affects sound quality, and in that sense, what you're saying isn't mitigating his point. I understand your objects with the word "proof," and they're fine and good, but they detract from his main argument that for the most part is pretty clear and apparent.



    Semantics are meaning. Meaning is everything.

    The point about science not proving things is quite important, and the misconception is part of the public's wider ignorance of the scientific process.

    Science provides evidence for or against, little more. A worthy aside in this forum (or any other discussion along similar lines).
     
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