How well do you know your brakes? Do you trust them? Where were they made? When was the last time you had the rotors serviced? If you had to stop right now, would your brakes be up to the task?
If you had to think for more than a second before answering any of those questions, you’re probably in dire need of some brake work. Other than your tires, no other single component is as critical to your vehicle’s performance than your brakes are.
Many the car owner has spent thousands of dollars building a high horsepower, monster motor and then crashed because his brakes weren’t up to the task of slowing all of that new found power. Quite simply stated, brakes can make or break your day.
Everyone from Formula One to the Major League Baseball Association has been experimenting with a metal-treating process called “cryogenics”. In case you’re wondering where you’ve heard that word before, think of the late Ted Williams and his nutty son, who claims that the former baseball great wished to be cryogenically (aka “frozen”) preserved.
Cryogenics is the process of slowly deep freezing an object and then slowly returning it to normal temperature. A “good” cryogenics shop will also heat temper the object after it has been frozen.
Roadfly was fortunate enough to wrangle a few moments of Mark Link’s time to discuss the cryogenic process and its benefits. Mark Link is the Vice President of Operations at Diversified Cryogenics; Diversified Cryogenics is located in Burnsville, Minnesota and can be reached by telephone at 1-888-323-8456, or via the web at www.frozenrotors.com.
Mark began by sharing some pretty convincing test data with us. “We’ve shown that cryogenically treated rotors will last 130% longer than untreated rotors and that drivers can expect longer brake pad life with improved braking system performance.”
That’s pretty impressive data, and Mark went to great lengths to explain how cryogenics makes this possible. According to Link, the cryogenic treating process is a one-time, homogenous process that permanently improves the performance of practically any metal item by refining the grain structure of the metal at an atomic level.
The freezing process literally aligns the carbon molecules of a metal object, resulting in an improved “lattice structure” of the carbon particles that is much stronger and more resistant to abrasion than untreated metal.
The process can be used on everything from aluminum baseball bats to spark plugs and is compatible with coatings like Teflon.
Mr. Link commented that the biggest benefactor of the cryogenic process has been the machining industry. Tool bits, cutting dies, and blades can be cryogenically treated to produce a much longer lasting tool that requires less maintenance. He further indicated that ball bearings and other high abrasion devices benefit equally well from the cryogenic process.
We asked Mark for more info about Diversified Cryogenics (commonly referred to as “Frozen Rotors”) cryogenic process and services, and he was more than happy to share information about their products and processes.
Frozen Rotors employs a handful of highly trained staff that is dedicated to providing top-notch products and service. They utilize a state-of-the-art computer controlled cryogenic processor that slowly, consistently and accurately lowers the temperature of an object to approximately -300F.
The computer accurately monitors the freezing process to within 1F – an amazing accomplishment by any standards. The object is then slowly returned to normal temperature and once at normal temperature is heat-tempered. Heat tempering ensures that the metal obtains the highest possible resistance to abrasion and is a perfect application for brake rotors.
According to Link, cryogenic treatment benefits everyone who has brakes on their vehicles. The immediate benefits are improved and more consistent rotor life – Frozen Rotors has discovered that their cryogenically treated rotors outlast normal rotors by two-to-four times when tested side-by-side under identical conditions.
Further benefits include better braking performance and increased pad life due to less distortion of the contact area between the pad and the rotor. Distortion not only decreases the effective braking surface between the pad and rotor, but also results in cracking of the rotor, which many often refer to as “heat or stress cracking”. All of these problems go away once you have your rotors cryogenically treated.
The most common misconception that people have about cryogenically treating brake components is that it only benefits the racing industry. While it’s true that race teams do reap benefits from cryogenics, the general population can take advantage of the cryogenic process as well – think about how much money you’d save by doubling or quadrupling the life of your rotors.
Link explained that one of Frozen Rotors most common street applications is the Jeep Cherokee – apparently, the stock rotors are easily overwhelmed by the vehicle’s size. Frozen Rotors studies have shown a 100% improvement in brake life on most Jeep Cherokees when the vehicles have been outfitted with Frozen Rotors.
The bad news is that used rotors cannot be cryogenically treated – there’s simply too much risk that the rotor has already suffered from stress and cracking (perhaps on a micro-level). Frozen Rotors has a wide selection of new, cryogenically treated rotors – all you have to do is give them a call, and they’ll send you a set.
We finished by asking Mark a few basic questions including, “Do brake pads require or benefit from the cryogenic process?” Mark responded that cryogenically treated rotors do not require special brake pads, and that pads do not benefit from being frozen.
When asked about customers who wish supply existing rotors to Frozen Rotors, Mark indicated that Frozen Rotors can treat brand new rotors at a cost of approximately $55 per rotor (for most cars). He indicated that shipping charges are approximately $10 per rotor (each direction), and that the turn around time for treatment is approximately one week. Diversified Cryogenics can also machine your rotors for an additional charge (cross drilling, etc).
It was a true pleasure and an eye-opening experience to chat with Mark Link. Diversified Cryogenics definitely has an incredible service, and we would highly suggest that you consider having your rotors “frozen” – the service life expectancy is reason enough to have the work done, and when you factor in the increased performance, it’s a no brainer.
Call or visit Diversified Cryogenics today at 1-888-323-8456 or at http://www.frozenrotors.com. Your car, conscience, wallet and nerves will thank you – knowing that you have plenty of reliable stopping power is peace of mind that’s worth every penny.