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High pressure and heat treatment in a single system streamlines AM processes

Source:Quintus, Fraunhofer     Date:2021-04-16
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The Quintus Technologies Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) to be delivered to the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden will permit researchers to deepen their expertise and refine processes for pressure-supported heat treatment, used to maximize theoretical density, ductility, and fatigue resistance in high-performance materials.


Applications for the new system include the Hot Isostatic Pressing and heat treatment of specialty materials such as nickel-based superalloys and intermetallic compounds like titanium aluminides, as well as densification of the unconventional microstructures associated with additive manufacturing (AM).


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The Quintus HIP going to Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute is equipped with URQ® technology, which delivers cooling rates of up to 10³K/minute and enables multi-stage heat treatments in a single, integrated furnace cycle. (Photo courtesy of Quintus Technologies)


The Quintus Technologies Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) to be delivered to the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden will permit researchers to deepen their expertise and refine processes for pressure-supported heat treatment, used to maximize theoretical density, ductility, and fatigue resistance in high-performance materials.


Applications for the new system include the Hot Isostatic Pressing and heat treatment of specialty materials such as nickel-based superalloys and intermetallic compounds like titanium aluminides, as well as densification of the unconventional microstructures associated with additive manufacturing (AM).


The press model QIH 15L incorporates heat treatment and cooling in a single process known as High Pressure Heat Treatment™ (HPHT™). HPHT combines stress-relief annealing, HIP, high-temperature solution-annealing (SA), high pressure gas quenching (HPGQ), and subsequent ageing or precipitation hardening (PH) in one integrated furnace cycle.


Consolidating these multiple steps in the HIP process brings several benefits for Fraunhofer IFAM. Several functions can be performed in a single location with fewer pieces of equipment on the production line. The Quintus press produces faster throughput and higher work piece quality. It also enhances efficiency and dramatically reduces per-unit processing costs while generating significant savings in space, energy, and infrastructure.


The QIH 15L is equipped with Quintus's Uniform Rapid Quenching® (URQ®) technology, which achieves an impressive cooling rate of 103K/minute while minimizing thermal distortion and non-uniform grain growth, for finished 3D printed parts with optimal material properties. The press's furnace chamber has a diameter of 6.69 inches (170 mm) and a height of 11.4 inches (290 mm) and operates at a maximum pressure of 200 [207] MPa (30,000 psi) and a maximum temperature of 2,552°F (1,400°C).


Acquiring the Quintus HIP allows Fraunhofer IFAM researchers to "strengthen their technological expertise in the field of pressure-supported heat treatment," comments Dr. Thomas Weißgärber, Director of the Branch Lab. "The new system is not only used for R&D projects but is also available as a service for carrying out predefined HIP cycles."


"As the industry leader in advanced Hot Isostatic Pressing technology for over 60 years, we have noted exceptional interest in new approaches that improve quality, lower cost, and reduce environmental impacts," says Jan Söderström, CEO of Quintus Technologies. "HPHT is rapidly emerging as the go-to post-processing path to lean AM operations, and we are delighted to be working with Fraunhofer IFAM as its talented researchers expand the potential for high pressure and heat treatment."


The new system will be installed in the Innovation Center Additive Manufacturing ICAM® of Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden, where various technologies for additive manufacturing are a major focus.

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