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Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)

Dave Hanson 02 Oct 08 - 10:28 AM
Bernard 02 Oct 08 - 11:20 AM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 08 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Oct 08 - 12:44 PM
Escapee 02 Oct 08 - 01:38 PM
Bert 02 Oct 08 - 01:45 PM
Joe_F 02 Oct 08 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Dan's laptop 02 Oct 08 - 11:56 PM
Dave Hanson 03 Oct 08 - 04:31 AM
JohnB 03 Oct 08 - 07:27 AM
Mooh 03 Oct 08 - 07:56 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Oct 08 - 10:13 AM
Bernard 03 Oct 08 - 03:49 PM
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Subject: Tech: Cryogenics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:28 AM

I quite often see on eBay auctions for ' cryogenically ' treated banjo strings, what's that all about then ?

What difference can freezing strings very cold make ? or is it just another way to charge more for a bog standard item ?

It baffles me.

eric


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 11:20 AM

Cryogenically treated banjo players seems a much better idea...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and banjo strings)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 11:26 AM

I cannot tell a lie. I added to the thread title so I don't get a lot of messages asking, "Why isn't this thread in the BS section"?

This page (click) has information on cryogenic treatment of metals. It all sounds very credible, but I don't know what to believe...
This very informative page says a piano with cryogenically treated strings, didn't need tuning after 2-1/2 years.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 12:44 PM

Eric,

If you would like way too much information goto

BanjoHangout

Russ (Permanent GUEST and banjo player)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Escapee
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 01:38 PM

Hi, all. Cryogenic treatment "homogenizes" or normalizes, the molecular structure of the metal. It relieves stress and produces a more even response. It is used on punches (metal working) and significantly extends their working life. It can also solve accuracy problems in rifle barrels. A friend of mine, a professional player, had his french horn treated and raved about the results.
Personally, I can't see it for strings. The ones I've seen are too expensive. I usually replace strings after a month or so, so old strings breaking isn't an issue, and I like the bright new sound. On the other hand, some people have suggested that I would benefit from some normalization.
Fair winds,
SKP, diemaker emeritus


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Bert
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 01:45 PM

...didn't need tuning after 2-1/2 years...

What's so special about that? Lots of banjos sound as though they haven't been tuned for 2 1/2 years.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 10:02 PM

I used to be a low-temperature physicist, and I once took an introductory course in mechanical engineering. This stuff sounds wrong, but I can just barely believe it.

It sounds wrong in that ordinarily, when one wants to relieve internal stresses in materials, one *heats* them and then cools them very slowly (the process called annealing). The reason is that higher temperature improves the kinetics (the motion of atoms) by which the material relaxes to its equilibrium state.

However, besides the kinetics, there is the thermodynamics to consider -- that is, what *is* the equilibrium state -- and that depends on the temperature too. In the case of some of the materials mentioned in the links -- iron alloys -- high-temperature phases such as austenite may get supercooled or even (as in some stainless steels) become the equilibrium phase at room temperature. In that case, lowering the temperature might cause them to be out (or farther out) of equilibrium, and improve the relaxation *if you give it enough time*. For this reason, the statement in some of the sources that one has to use *prolonged* chilling adds to their credibility. But I am still skeptical.

Contrariwise, there are some materials that can be damaged by cold. A notorious example is tin, which at modestly low temperatures (below about 56 degrees F) turns from a metal to a semiconductor and crumbles.

Liquid nitrogen, I believe, is pretty cheap these days, so it should not be terribly expensive to do your own banjo string. It will last for a fair while in an ordinary insulating foam container.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: GUEST,Dan's laptop
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 11:56 PM

I tried them once. Worst $17 I ever spent. (And that was ten years ago!) I went right back to John Pearse after that.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 04:31 AM

I expect they will last forever if still frozen.

eric


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: JohnB
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 07:27 AM

From memory, only certain alloys respond to a cryogenic phase as part of their "heat treatment" cycle.
There is more information on cryogenic heat treatment of steel here which could prove my previous statement wrong.
JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 07:56 AM

My issue isn't so much with the science of production but the art and science of use. In use strings are stretched, bent, warmed, cooled, dried, dampened, vibrated, and abused beyond what (to my ears) any fancypants cryongenic treatment can overcome. I used these strings on and off for a couple of years (they were available locally) and didn't find them superior to good old D'Addario strings. They're not bad strings, just not beyond average.

Ymmv.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 10:13 AM

I think I'll stick with Redwing for the banjo and D'Addario for the mandolin.

It's all too techy to get my head round, I think I'll have a drink.

eric


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Subject: RE: Tech: Cryogenics (and instrument strings)
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 03:49 PM

Now yer talkin'!!


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