ECM Technologies, a French manufacturer of heat-treatment vacuum furnaces, is to equip the Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry (CETIM), France, with a horizontal furnace dedicated to high temperature treatment of metal parts produced by Additive Manufacturing.
CETIM offers technological support to companies via a collaborative production platform and aims to increase their competitiveness by innovation within their production processes. In this context CETIM has purchased a 3D printer and an ECM Technologies vacuum furnace to serve prosthesis and medical implant manufacturers.
Heat treatment is often a necessary step to insure the physical integrity of additively manufactured parts. After the fusion of metal particles into the required shape the part is heat-treated to reorganise its structure and improve its mechanical properties.
The furnace from ECM Technologies allows low-pressure treatment at 600°C for stress-relieving, a necessary phase to relieve constraints and stress due to the Additive Manufacturing process. Treatment under high-temperature in controlled atmospheres from 800 to 900 °C is possible for the solution-treatment of products and oxides in order to increase the mechanical strength and optimise the strain strength.
The stress-relieving, solution treatment and annealing heat-treatments achieved in the furnace are specifically adapted to alloys prone to oxidation such as Nickel, Titanium, Cobalt-Chrome-Molybdenum and Tungsten, which need to be treated in a primary or secondary vacuum.
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