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Chemical Post-Processing Advantages for High Temperature Metal Alloys on Additive Manufactured Parts

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The use of additively manufactured high temperature components offer many benefits including cost reduction, better performance and lower risk, however, the parts created using these processes are often left with trapped or partially processed powder and, rough surfaces, heat scale and other imperfections which cause difficulty in FPI and Blue light inspection.

Chemical milling and surface post-processing for high temperature additively manufactured, 3D printed metal parts is available today on a wide variety of alloys including all printed titanium alloys, aluminum alloys (including A205) and high temperature corrosion resistant alloys (Inconel 625, Inconel 718, Haynes 188, and cobalt chrome). 

Chemical post-processing improves the surface finish of parts and provides a methodology to enable product realization and meet design specifications. The finishing process can enhance a part’s surface characteristics, geometric accuracy, aesthetics, mechanical properties, and facilitate FPI and blue light inspection.  Some typical applications for chemical surface treatment operations are:

  • Significant improvement of fatigue performance
  • Removal of unwanted surface crystalline morphologies
  • Surface preparation for dye penetrants or other inspection processes
  • External and Internal support structure removal

This process has been successfully used to provide a method to remove partially sintered or loose powder particles on internal and external surfaces, decrease overall surface roughness of the printed component with an average of 60-70% reduction between incoming and post processed parts, and reduces scale or oxidation layers to promote FPI interpretability.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how chemical post-processing of 3D-printed titaniums, cobalt chrome, inconels and aluminums effectively provide consistent, reliable results, achieving part tolerances and surface quality demanded by aerospace and medical industry
  • Identify typical applications for chemical surface treatment of high temperature alloys
  • Describe the average surface reduction of post-processed components
  • Jim Ringer
    Director Business Development
    Tech Met Inc