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Cryogenic Metal Treatment for Motorsports


Cryogenic treatment of your metal motorsports components can extend parts life and promote performance.  The cryogenic metal treatment process uses a computer-controlled program that gradually reduces the temperature of automotive parts to -300°F and keeps them at this cryogenic temperature for 24 hours.  By doing this, cryogenic metal treatment promotes a transformation of retained austenite (RA) into martensite and in turn, improves strength and durability. Metallurgically, the precipitation of carbon particles fills microscopic voids for a more consistent granular structure. Practically, motorsports teams and racers can extend parts life and promote performance.

Here are some common benefits to the cryogenic treatment of automotive parts.

Engine Blocks

Cryogenic metal treatment stabilizes the dimensions of engine blocks. That’s important because it gives engine builders greater control over the clearances between cylinder walls and pistons. When an engine is running, the heat in the block can cause dimensional changes. By minimizing thermal expansion and contraction, cryogenic treatment improves engine stability. Cryo treatment also makes engine blocks easier to machine to final size. Engine builders like how cylinders are easier to hone, too.

Engine Components

According to Engine Builder magazine, more than 75% of engine components fail because of fatigue. That’s why builders and racers use cryogenic metal treatment to enhance stress relief and improve wear resistance. Although motorsports teams can’t see changes to the metal with the naked eye, they know that these components can withstand as many as 9,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). “Cryogenic metal treatment benefits may not be visible,” Engine Builder writes, “but they are real”.


The cryogenic treatment of transmissions increases the life of internal parts and the casing. Gear wear and failure are reduced, and drivers report smoother shifting and better clutch performance. As Gear Solutions magazine writes, cryogenic metal treatment “allows an increase in fatigue life, load capacity, and wear resistance of gears”. For racing teams, the benefits include reduced maintenance and longer-lasting performance. “Potentially, every gear that is heat treated is a candidate,” the magazine adds.

Brake Rotors

By imparting a more uniform grain structure, cryogenic metal treatment improves heat dissipation, an important consideration with brake rotors. As calipers squeeze brake pads together, kinetic energy (motion) is turned into thermal energy (heat). Brake rotors that are cryogenically treated are better able to withstand this high heat and the repeated stresses caused by heating and cooling. Brake rotors that are cryogenically treated, the website Tirerack.com explains, have a “denser, smoother structure”.


Cryogenic metal treatment is also used with bearings, highly-engineered components with precise dimensions that can support extremely high speeds. As Science Direct reports, research demonstrates the effects of cryogenic treatment on the mechanical properties of AISI 440C bearing steel, a type of metal that’s used in many ball bearings because of its resistance to rust, corrosion, and high temperatures. With cryo treatment, bearing hardness is increased and the percentage of retained austenite is reduced.

Rear Ends

As engine power increases, rear differentials are subjected to greater stresses. To reduce the risk of ring and pinion breakage, motorsports mechanics can install larger and stronger differentials, but that increases weight and friction. Cryogenic treatment, the website motoiq.com explains, can “bulletproof your rear end” without these tradeoffs. “This gives the metal a more homogenous structure,” the website writes, “and greatly improves hardness, wear resistance, fatigue strength, and tensile strength.”

Choose Nitrofreeze® Cryogenic Metal Treatment

Cryogenic metal treatment from Nitrofreeze® increases durability, improves wear resistance, reduces fatigue failures, ensures quality, and offers both consistency and flexibility. If your motorsports parts are viable candidates for cryo treatment, we can perform sampling to demonstrate our process. The consultation is free of charge and turnaround times average two business days. To get started, contact us at the phone number and email listed below and let us know you found this article on-line.

(508) 459-7447 x109 | info@nitrofreeze.com