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Almbrite™

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ALMBRITE tm is a NADCAP approved chemical immersion treatment, which refines the surfaces of an Additive Manufactured (also known as 3D printed and Additive Layer Manufacturing), component by chemically removing material from each surface to achieve a surface roughness of at least 3.2Ra, whilst enhancing edge and feature definition with an accuracy of +/- 50µm.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses various techniques to construct a three-dimensional object from powder bed fusion to material extrusion processes. AM is a process in which a component is built up in discreet layers by using a high energy heat source to melt or fuse powders. The processes are driven by data taken directly from computer aided designs (CAD) which are then sliced into individual layers. In the case of powder bed fusion, fine metal powders are deposited on top of a build platform and the energy beam is used to melt the shape of the desired component, the process then proceeds with a new layer of powder which is subsequently melted, such that the component is built up in a layer by layer fashion.

These processes can lead to a poor surface finish, due to semi melted particles partially coalesce or undulations on the surface. Surface finishing post treatments such as vibratory grinding, machining, polishing and honing can be used to remove these imperfections, however these treatments can be limited by geometric complexity, increased treatment times and higher costs.

The ALMBRITE tm treatment can enhance the surface finish and quality regardless of the complexity of the component’s geometry. This complements Additive Manufactured designed components, which uses either traditional or topology optimised approaches, where conventional post processing treatments are unable or too costly to be used.

The ALMBRITE tm treatment also dissolve supports used in the Additive Manufacturing process, removing the need to machine support structures off. This enables designers more freedom in their designs whilst offering a significant time and cost saving opportunity.

As cost or lead times associated with the ALMBRITETM treatment are not driven by complexity, significant cost and time savings can be made compared with traditional post processing, such as machining. Specific applications with complex internal surfaces can be enhanced using this treatment.

Photos below are of treated and untreated surfaces

Any enquiries about this process please contact James Bradbury at the Exeter Office

                                            
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Key Advantages

  • Can be used to treat both laser and electron beam powder bed additive components;
  • Is a cost efficient and competitive treatment against current post processes;
  • Does not promote hydrogen embrittlement;
  • Complies with all environmental regulations, including REACH;
  • Controlled and repeatable treatment;
  • Removal of contamination, surface powder and Foreign object debris;
  • Enables approved Non Destructive Test methods to be used, such as Liquid Penetrant Inspection;
They are based in a prime location and they have good technical capabilities.
The turnaround times are good and the back office support is good too.
We only use South West Metal Finishing. They provide everything we need and have no complaints.
It's a good company. No major issues. There's no reason why I wouldn't recommend them.
They help me through the process.