Tech Notes

The Technology of ICEFLY’s Low-Flow Cryogen Delivery System

In many cryogenic fluid transfer applications, it is important that the fluid be transferred in a 100% liquid state or as close to 100% as possible since available refrigeration is optimally gained from the phase change of a liquid to a gas (latent heat of vaporization). Historically, and particularly in low flow applications, this required the fluid to be initially phase-separated and/or subcooled in a heat exchanger. Otherwise heat leak from the surrounding environment to the cryogen would cause boil-off, thereby causing flow undulations in the transfer line resulting in non-steady, pulsing and generally unreliable flow. The ICEFLY cryogen delivery system addresses this concern with a proprietary coaxial or "tube-in-tube" geometry (see insert).

Icefly unit shown in cross sectionWith such a configuration, the first portion of the cryogenic fluid flows through the inner tube while a second portion flows through an annulus between the inner tube and outer tube. By maintaining the annulus at a lower pressure than the inside tube, the liquid in the annulus can provide a refrigeration duty to the liquid inside the inner tube (e.g. such as by boiling), such that the inner liquid is cooled and stays in a saturated liquid state. This feature is critical for supply of either a saturated liquid nitrogen stream or for preparation of a low temperature gaseous nitrogen product.

It is also important in many cryogenic fluid transfer applications that the transfer line be lightweight and flexible. This provides for flexibility during installation, operation and maintenance of the cryogenic supply system at the application point and also enables the cryogenic transfer line to withstand repeated bending. The ICEFLY cryogen delivery system addresses this concern for cryogenic transfer lines through the judicious use of flexible polymeric materials in a portion of the delivery system.

Cryo-SpiderCool™ – Programmable Nozzle

SpiderCool is an automatic coolant nozzle system for machining centers offered by Dimensional Controls, Inc. The SpiderCool system consists of:

  • Nozzle assembly
  • Control unit
  • Remote adjustment knob, cabling, and mounting hardware
  • Closed loop servo motor which automates the coolant stream

SpiderCool memorizes where coolant is aimed on each tool, then adjusts automatically while the machine is running oriented so the coolant stream is aligned to the spindle centerline.

This exciting new addition to the Dimensional Control’s family of automatic coolant nozzles is designed to operate at cryogenic temperatures in conjunction with the ICEFLY cryogen delivery system for cryogenic machining applications.

For further information, contact Rick Knopf at (610) 966-8221 or Or contact Dimensional Controls at (860) 463-0496 or

White Papers: Cryogenic Machining of Metals

Finish Turning of Hardened Powder Metallurgy Steel Using Cryogenic Cooling

Cryogenic Machining with Brittle Tools and Effects on Tool Life

Investigation of White Layers in Conventional and Cryogenic Hard Turning of Steels

White Papers: Temperature-Controlled Machining of Polymers

'Cryogenic Machining of Polymeric Biomaterials: An Intraocular Lens Case Study,' presented at Materials and Processes for Medical Devices Conference, Palm Desert, CA, September 23-25, 2007

'Cryogenic Machining of PEEK,' presented at First International PEEK Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 25-26, 2013


The ICEFLY cryogen delivery system is covered by multiple apparatus patents for cryogen delivery and methods patents for its application. Advanced Research Systems, as a licensee of Air Products and Chemicals and through its subsidiary ICT, is pleased to offer use rights to the portfolio of intellectual property including the following US patents and their foreign equivalents:

US 6,513,336, Method and Apparatus for Transferring a Cryogenic Fluid; US 7,252,024, An Apparatus and Method for Machining with Cryogenically Cooled Oxide-Containing Ceramic Cutting Tools; US 7,637,187, Apparatus and Method of Cryogenic Cooling for High-Energy Cutting Operations; US 7,290,397, Linearly-Actuated Cryo-Fluid Connection (LACC) for Manufacturing Machines; US 8,220,370 Apparatus and Method for Machining of Hard Metals With Reduced Detrimental White Layer Effect; US 7,513,121, Apparatus and Method for Improving Work Surface During Forming and Shaping of Materials; US 7,634,95,7 Method and Apparatus for Machining Workpieces Having Interruptions; US 7,390,240, Method of Shaping and Forming Work Materials; CN 2008-80015030.2, Method of Hardening a Machined Article; US 6,564,68,2 Machine Tool Distributor for Cryogenic Cooling of Cutting Tools on a Turret Plate; US 2010/0193980, Apparatus and Method for Machining Polymers with Controlled Cryogenic Cooling; US 2012/0216550, Apparatus and Method for Controlling the Temperature of a Cryogen.