Cryogenic treatment is a technique applied to metallic alloys to improve their mechanical properties through stress relief and the formation of microprecipitates. Recently, there have been attempts among musical instrument makers to perform cryogenic treatment on musical instruments. While there are claims that these instruments experienced improved tonal performance due to altered physical and mechanical characteristics after cryogenic treatment, there have been no attempts to examine or qualify these claims. This study is an effort to characterize music wire in acoustic systems before and after cryogenic treatment in terms of changes in material and mechanical properties. Treated strings are found to possess improved mechanical properties. An explanation is proposed for the changes in the material caused by cryogenic treatment.
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