Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Snow Brings Green Machining To Laboratory

Date:
April 9, 2005
Source:
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Summary:
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.

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.
Credit: Photo credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., March 16, 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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Snow Brings Green Machining To Laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325161117.htm>.
Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2005, April 9). Snow Brings Green Machining To Laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325161117.htm
Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Snow Brings Green Machining To Laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325161117.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins