Surface finishing specialist Fintek, Bury, Lancashire, UK, has become the exclusive British agent for RENA Technologies Austria GmbH’s H-series post-processing machines, which use a patented Hirtisation® process for precise finishing of additively manufactured metal parts.
As with any post-processing, support structures and powder cake are removed, but Hirtisation reportedly goes a step further by eliminating partially-melted grains and reducing the surface roughness of metal parts. The fully-automated chemical/electrochemical process can reach into cavities, undercuts and other intricate designs which can prove difficult or impossible to reach by either manual or mechanical processes. Without potentially harsh mechanical processing, smoothing via Hirtisation does not jeopardise the precision of edge profiles. The process is suitable for all common metals and metal alloys.
The H-machines are said to be simple to operate, requiring only minimal training, and are designed to scale with the needs of a variety of AM businesses. All process chemicals are fully integrated, meaning they can be refilled safely. Cycle times are short, from thirty minutes, dependant on the size of the part and quality target.
“The RENA H-series considerably expands our subcontract capability and machine offering for the surface finishing of metal parts made by Additive Manufacturing,” stated Jonathan Dean, Managing Director at Fintek. “RENA is an international firm, and we are delighted to work with them and gain from their extensive experience. The machines complement our existing disc, drag and stream finishing systems from OTEC.”
The H-Series is offered in three sizes: H3000 is suitable for parts up to 300 x 300 x 150 mm and can handle the part feed from up to three AM machines; H6000, 500 x 500 x 350 mm and can handle up to four AM machines at a rate of up to 100 parts per hour; H12000 is suitable for industrial Additive Manufacturing and can handle up to twenty-five AM machines using four different materials at once at a rate of up to 500 parts per hour.
“Accomplishing a commercially viable surface finish on additively manufactured metal parts has stopped the implementation of the technology for many applications,” commented Jame Phillips, Operations Manager, Fintek. “The Hirtisation process removes this obstacle and, at Fintek, we also have the capability with the OTEC range of high-energy stream finishing systems to take external surface roughness down to Ra values of 0.01μm.”