- ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING -

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

Additive Manufacturing, also referred to as 3D Printing, is a technology that produces three-dimensional parts layer by layer from a material, be it polymer or metal-based. This manufacturing technology has made great progress in many industries. No longer reserved for prototyping, R&D, or tooling, additive manufacturing is now moving to mass production of metal parts and replacing traditional CNC metal removal applications in many industries.

As advancements in powders, lasers, and printers continue, the need for heat treatments such as debinding and sintering done in vacuum heat-treating furnaces with very precise process control is key to achieving the mechanical properties required by engineering standards. The possibility of consolidating multiples parts in one assembly is one of the key benefits of additive manufacturing. As with traditional metal removing applications, heat-treating of AM parts will ensure that the mechanical properties will meet your most demanding engineering and application requirements.

VACUUM HEAT-TREATING SYSTEMS

The G-M Enterprise HVF vacuum heat treating system delivers superior performance for sintering applications requiring close dimensional tolerances.

Horizontal Vacuum Series

RFQ

 

Debinding

Thermal debinding is usually the first process that removes polymers from the metal powder and results in obtaining a sample to be sintered. Debinding consists of the complete evaporation of the binder to deprive the metal parts of any organic compound, leaving it intact for vacuum sintering. During the debinding process, an inert gas acts as a carrier of the degrading components, avoiding oxidation and reduction phenomena on the metal surface of the part.

 

Sintering

Sintering is a process that can be done in a vacuum heat-treating furnace. Sintering under atmospheric pressure requires the use of protective gas, such as endothermic gas. Sintering, with subsequent reworking, can produce a great range of material properties. Changes in density following heat treatments alter the physical characteristics of various parts

Sintering involves the heat treatment of a material powder to ensure correct coalescence of the parts particles. This inter-particle bond is guaranteed by the atomic diffusion that is thermodynamically favored by high temperatures that can be achieved in a vacuum furnace. This treatment provides high-quality parts with the required density, porosity, and mechanical resistance. The properties of the end product, in terms of the surface finish of the part and mechanical properties, can be improved by carrying out sintering in a vacuum furnace. This process provides a reduction in oxidization of the individual particles and their subsequently improved coalescence.

Some of the benefits of vacuum sintering following additive manufacturing and debinding are:

  • Clean, bright parts meeting your parts finish requirements
  • Superior quality and mechanical properties.
  • Reduced part count and better assembly.
  • Production flexibility and reduced lead time versus conventional CNC metal removing equipment.

 

HEAT TREATING SERVICES

The following heat treating services are among those provided by Nitrex HTS:

Conventional Tempering

Vacuum Tempering

RFQ

Aerospace

Automotive

Gun manufacturing

MIM (metal injection molding)

Molds, dies, and tooling

Prototyping

R&D

List of Powder Materials

  • Titanium alloys
  • Aluminium Alloys
  • Nickel base alloys
  • Cobalt base alloys
  • Stainless steels
  • Tool steels
  • Other Fe base alloys
  • Copper base alloys
  • Precious metals
  • Others