Brake Rotors Improving Life and Safety with Deep Cryogenic Treatment

Why Rotors Warp and Crack

Brake rotors warp, crack and cause vibrations because of internal stresses and uneven tempers (hard and soft spots) in areas of the rotor. When subjected to thermal stress (or mechanical stress from unevenly or over-tightened lug nuts) the rotor warps and/or cracks. Turning or truing the rotor will alleviate warps that exist when the rotor is cold, but will not solve the problem when hot, the stresses and uneven temper still exists within the substrate. The only permanent solution is to replace the rotor or have new rotors deep cryogenically treated. The manufacturing cost of brake rotors is mainly related to the steel and the length of the cool down time during the casting process. Most rotors are removed from the sand molds too soon and generally develop internal stresses and uneven temper. The most cost-effective way to increase the life and safety of a rotor is to have it deep cryogenically treated. This process will assure you of a stress free, uniform rotor that will eliminate vibrations while dissipating heat quickly and evenly.

Drilled Vs. Slotted

Some drilled holes in rotors are not really drilled at all. They are cast holes. This is done to help minimize the effects a hole has in creating a stress riser in the surface of the brake rotor. A drilled hole goes directly through and interrupts the grain structure of the metal. Where a cast hole has the grain structure formed around it in an uninterrupted flow. All holes in a brake rotor will eventually show signs of stress cracking. A drilled hole will crack much sooner than a cast one. Admittedly, a “drilled” rotor will cool better than a smooth rotor, and has slightly better “bite”. However, the person who blindly goes ahead and drills his stock rotors is asking for trouble, especially in high heat or severe brake conditions. It’s not unusual for these rotors to eventually crack completely across the surface, causing a dangerous situation. Therefore, it is not recommended to drill unless it is for an under-stressed condition or, for a street car just for looks. The best solution for people who want maximum life and safety out of their rotors, is to have standard or slotted rotors deep cryogenically treated. This process performed by Cryogenics International will completely remove all thermal and mechanical stresses within the rotor. With no inherent flaws and a more uniform metal structure, the rotor will now dissipate heat quickly and evenly, wear longer, be free of vibrations. This CI treated rotor is the best performing, most durable, safe and cost effective rotor available.

Cryogenics International treated rotors are the best choice for serious applications like law enforcement, rescue, sanitation, off-road and racing. CI takes the standard rotors, drums and metallic pads you currently use (any brand) and increases their life and makes them, perform better and safer.

What is Deep Cryogenic Treating / Stress Relieving?

Any cast or manufactured part has some built in internal stresses and brake rotors and pads are no exception. This is why rotors can warp just by sitting on the shelf.

The most effective way to completely eliminate these stresses is to do it in the controlled environment of a computerized deep cryogenic treatment system. CI’s controlled deep cryogenic treatment system and process is capable of treating a wide variety of materials, such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, metallic alloys, carbides, plastics (including nylon and Teflon) and ceramics. The entire process takes between 36 to 74 hours, depending on the weight and type of material being treated. In the case of steel and its alloys, cryogenic treatment removes the built-in kinetic energy of atoms, which is the energy of motion. There is a normal attraction between atoms that makes them want to get together. But their energy of motion keeps them apart unless that energy is removed by low temperature cooling.

This special process is not a surface treatment; it affects the entire mass of the brake rotor, drum or pad being treated, making it stress free and stronger throughout. The hardness of the material treated is unaffected, while its strength is actually increased. This eliminates the danger of heat cracks, chipping and breaking. An additional benefit of the CI process is the elimination of vibrations caused by stresses in the rotor.

In steel, the CI treatment at temperatures of (-320°F) transforms soft austenite into hard martensite. This transformation improves rotor surface wear and heat resistance; more miles can be driven before costly changes are required. This reduces the changeover rate of the rotors, thus improving the over-all life, and saving on vehicle downtime and labor. In general, a forty percent reduction in heat is seen after brake rotors, pads, and calipers are deep cryogenically treated.

Equipment Used

A CI computerized deep cryogenic treatment system consists of a thermally efficient treatment chamber and a sophisticated computer control. Precise program control and proper processing profiles assure that optimum results will be achieved with no dimensional changes or chance of thermal shock. This process is performed from start to finish in the same closed system. There is no chance in this inert closed environment for oxidization or contamination to affect the rotors or parts being treated.