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Strings Dipped In Liquid Nitrogen


Sgt. Pepper
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I know Gibson Cryogenically enhanced there frets a few years back and Dean Markley dips there Blue Steels (used to use them when I was an electric guy) in Liquid Nitrogen(LN2). I work at a place that makes it on site and today I brought in a set of Martin SP strings and I dipped them in LN2. Tomorrow I have a few frets to take care of on my D-41 and I am going to put the ones I dipped on to see if it actually does anything or its just Snake Oil. I'm thinking Snake Oil personally.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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10 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I know Gibson Cryogenically enhanced there frets a few years back and Dean Markley dips there Blue Steels (used to use them when I was an electric guy) in Liquid Nitrogen(LN2). I work at a place that makes it on site and today I brought in a set of Martin SP strings and I dipped them in LN2. Tomorrow I have a few frets to take care of on my D-41 and I am going to put the ones I dipped on to see if it actually does anything or its just Snake Oil. I'm thinking Snake Oil personally.

interested to see your results...  more alarming is you've got a few frets to take care of, on the D41?!?  I thought you got that new.

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I'm not a metallurgist but I'd be happy to play one on the internet.

For two decades of my young life I boiled every set of strings that went on every guitar, every time.  Boil water, plunk them in there, sit a few minutes, take them out, dry them, put them on.  Not to clean them, but because Eddie and a couple others known for violently wang barring said it stretched them.  It did.  They expand as far as possible and contract as far as possible as they cool.  I stopped eventually because I didn't violently wang bar on my best night.  I still feel weird not boiling them but that's ok.

So I'm guessing that lowering the temperature so far causes them to expand as far as they can, then contract as far as they can as they return to normal sub-zero temperatures.  It might make a bit of difference in their response to bending and returning to pitch.

Or not.

I don't know what the hell I'd put on a D-41.  Gold strings or something.  Platinum maybe.  I sure wouldn't play the damn thing, that would wreck it.

rct

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We are testing in the Wind Tunnel I work at and when we test I go to nights. Should be might last night of nights for this week. I hope so cause The Wood Brother are playing in Richmond Wednesday and I want to go.  So just got up, gonna get a few gulps of coffee in me and the strings are coming off. Gonna rock the frets one more time as I lowered the action last time. I did it and did not go back a second time to double check to see if I have a fret of two that need more attention. Its not like the frets are steak knives on the ends like some Gibbys I've owned. Yes the D-41 is new. Yes rct sometimes I just want to look at it, but its an instrument and I play mine. Just cause it cost a pretty penny doesn't mean it ain't getting played. Leave the house, no way, put played, oh h-ell yes. 

Results in a few hours. I should have taken pics after I dipped them, but I left my phone at my desk.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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A friend of mine has several patents for cryogenic technology he has developed and markets and installs his equipment all over the world,  He started in the business treating metal for military applications, 

There is much more to it than dipping  stuff in liquid nitrogen.  Metals are subjected to cooling in phases until the desired temperature (-360 f)  for the metal being treated is reached,  then the temp is maintained for a precise amount of time before being brought back to  normal temperature,  again slowly raising it incrementally,  

The process actually changes the molecular structure of the metal., binding the larger molecules to each other and likewise the smaller molecules to each other . 

There is a breakthrough on the horizon with a new technology that would use cryogenic systems to super cool CNG for use in railroad engines and over the road trucks as well as ocean freighters,  using a newly developed dual nozzle injector,  large displacement industrial diesel engines could be converted to use this super cooled CNG as an maximizing agent when injected into the combustion chamber milliseconds after the diesel,  reducing the amount of diesel required for the same torque (or much more),  The application primary goal being to reduce carbon emissions from railroads and large ships,  converting in service equipment to this new technology. 

 

Edited by jaxson50
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The theory is basic. The colder the fuel the greater the expansion when ignited,  the injector uses an inside channeling injector to supply the super cooled compressed natural gas with a extremely fine mist while the larger o shaped diesel injector supplies a smaller than normally required amount of diesel. 

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I'm just a dumb electrician and I know we make liquid nitrogen in the plant next to the wind tunnel I work at. We inject liquid nitrogen into the tunnel to cool it down to -250 F for a lot of the testing we do on the models of planes and wings and right now there is some model of a rocket they are testing for a planed trip to one of the moons of Jupiter, I think. Whenever a tour comes through they have a dewer (thick plastic bucket) filled with the stuff and we do demos with it. I though it would be cool to dip my strings in it. I've eaten cheese its dipped in liquid nitrogen. There cold and make your breath foggy.

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Hi Sgt. Pepper,

I've been watching this thread with some interest. Working in the laser industry for nearly 40 years I've spent a lot of time with liquid nitrogen and cryogenics. I remember back in the 80's the big rage was to treat machining tools like end mills in liquid nitrogen to super harden them. Jaxson50 is right. There is a specific time process involved, especially bringing the metal back to room temp. With cryogenically cooled lasers, the process to bring them safely back to room temp is on the order of about 3 hours. Otherwise the metals could be shocked and actually become brittle. Also to properly treat the strings they should be extended linearly and tensioned as they would be in use. If you just take the strings from the pack all looped in circles the thermal contraction would be around the curvature rather than linear. A dip in liquid nitrogen and then a quick rise to room temp could cause weakening of the strings. Every metal or alloy has a unique coefficient of thermal expansion. The metal wound around the lower pitched strings is different than the solid inner wire so if the strings are coiled and dipped, the windings could get damaged to the point of breaking worst case or at least a shortened lifetime. 

I think your snake oil assumption is correct but if you give it a try be sure to let us know what happens. 

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I can say that the cryo treatment to tubes does make them sound better.

Years ago I did an experiment with the fellow whose business was dipping the tubes.  I thought he was full of crap but nope.

This was for stereo gear, I don't know if it would make a difference for guitar amps.

Edited by SteveFord
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The theory is basic. The colder the fuel the greater the expansion when ignited,  the injector uses an inside channeling injector to supply the super cooled compressed natural gas with a extremely fine mist while the larger o shaped diesel injector supplies a smaller than normally required amount of diesel. 

Here is a  video about Westport Industries and the use of cryogenic technology as it applies to the future of transportation and lowering our carbon emissions 

 

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