In additive manufacturing and 3D printing, metal parts are made thanks to the layering of metallic powders. Shapes are adjusted thanks to a laser followed by a fast cooling phase which can lead to variations within the microstructure of parts, phase changes, as well as expansion phenomenon. These constraints are remote to the fast manufacturing of parts.
In order to obtain expected mechanical properties as well as to improve the unity of materials, it is necessary to apply a first stress relieving heat treatment to parts. This will eliminate all forms of residual constraints and spread tensions resulting from manufacturing.
In order to strengthen and maximize the durability of these complex and porous parts, an additional heat treatment is needed to ensure ageing phases and solution heat treatment.
ECM Technologies meets with the expectations of advanced industries requiring post additive treatments such as Medical, Aeronautics or Automotive with dedicated furnaces. With a strong experience in mastering vacuum, controlled atmospheres and heat treatments, ECM is a first class partner responding to high tech industries, such as additive manufacturing.
• Various furnace volumes with temperature up to 1600 C
• Vacuum heat treatments are specifically tailored to alloys prone to oxidation
• Patented heating element design assures temperature uniformity
• Hot zone designs guarantee clean treatments and avoid contamination
• Optimum atmospheres guaranteed
• Optional accelerated neutral gas cooling is available for increased productivity
AddUp (a major player in the field of metal additive manufacturing) and the ECM Group, signed a partnership in 2022 to develop high value-added solutions for the thermal treatment of 3D printed metal parts.
The ECM Group and AddUp will create and develop solutions that will help current and prospective customers reduce their manufacturing costs and lead times, while improving the performance of their parts produced using additive technology. The two groups will work jointly on a development program to define the appropriate specifications for a heat treatment solution adapted to additive manufacturing applications. Next, the ECM Group will design and industrialize a suitable vacuum furnace system according to the specifications defined during this joint development program.
“At ECM, we are convinced of the potential of metal additive manufacturing, some applications of which will lead to mass production,” says Yvan Trouillot, Sales Director for ECM, "Our alliance with the French company AddUp, a key player in this market, will allow us to bring our know-how for the development of innovative thermal solutions to this market, as we have been doing for more than 20 years in the international market of thermal treatment of conventional parts. Together, our ambition is to develop these technologies to help our customers progress by offering them the best solutions on the market.”