Additive Manufacturing (AM) consists in constituing metal parts thanks to the layering of metallic powders. Shapes are adjusted thanks to a laser melting powders locally, followed by fast cooling phases. This process allows to manufacture very complex shapes in one unique part. However, this process can lead to variations in the microstructure of the part leading to residual stress that can affect surface quality and core hardness. This is why heat treatment is needed on crical parts.
ECM Lab Solutions offers vacuum horizontal furnaces dedicated to Post Additive Manufacturing treatments
Surface roughness influences the aesthetics and several functional properties including fatigue resistance, frictional properties and heat transfer. Consequently, surface post-processing is a necessary step in the additive process.
Many Additive Manufactured metal components require a heat-treatment solution with precise temperature uniformity. This ensures the manufactured parts to adhere to the proper metallurgical properties of the selected metal alloy.
The heat treatment stage occurs in an inert (typically Argon) atmosphere to ensure the sintered part is not contaminated by oxygen molecules which can alter the chemical and physical properties (porosity) of the final component.