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Award-Winning Innovative Cryogenic Machining System

On the left asist. dr. Damir Grguraš, on the right Luka Sterle, mag. inž. str.
Photo: UL - Knowledge transfer office

Publish Date: 21.12.2020

Category: Researchers in focus , Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 6 Clean water and sanitation, 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, 12 Responsible consumption and production (Indicators)

ArcLub One is an award-winning innovative cryogenic machining system for heavy-duty machining without the use of emulsions that are harmful to the environment and health. The system also significantly reduces water consumption, since the currently used emulsions are based on water. Another advantage of the new system is increased productivity.

 ArcLub One was developed by Assist. Damir Grguraš, PhD, and Luka Sterle from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. In the first half of November, their innovation won them the Rector’s Award for the Best Innovation at the University of Ljubljana, and on 25 November, they won the EIT Jumpstarter 2020 competition in the EIT Manufacturing category.

 Grguraš and Sterle said the following about the system: “ArcLub One is the result of successful teamwork and demonstrates the importance of knowledge transfer from research to industry. This system aims to support the metal processing industry in Slovenia and Europe, especially segments involved in metal machining of difficult-to-cut materials. ArcLub One allows this without using emulsions that are harmful to the environment and health, while offering increased productivity. The objective of the ArcLub One system is to enable the metal machining industry to phase out harmful emulsions and achieve clean and sustainable production, thus making an important contribution to ensuring clean water and responsible consumption.”

The innovation is a system for supplying the liquid phase of the cryogenic medium to the cutting zone during cryogenic machining. The system combines a CO2 cryogenic medium and a lubricating medium to ensure sustainable and clean cutting of difficult-to-cut materials such as stainless steels, titanium and nickel alloys. This extends the tool life by up to 200 percent, increases productivity and reduces machining costs by up to 50 percent. The ArcLub One system is in the patent application phase and is ready for use in an industrial environment.

Its potential was recognised by the University of Ljubljana, which awarded Grguraš and Sterle the Rector’s Award for the Best Innovation at the University of Ljubljana in the category of researchers. A few days later, the researchers beat the European competition at the EIT Jumpstarter 2020 Grand Final in the EIT Manufacturing category.

The EIT Jumpstarter 2020 competition included 120 teams, with 36 reaching the grand final. The finalists competed in the EIT Health, EIT Food, EIT RawMaterials, EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Urban Mobility, and EIT Manufacturing categories. 

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