Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lacquering before polishing - Technical Coatings for Additive Manufacturing

04.12.2018

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has many advantages: custom manufacturing, flexible production and easy customization, for example. Yet many products have a high surface roughness and porosity. The post processing of the thus fabricated parts is time consuming and often a significant cost factor for manufacturers. Technical coatings open up new possibilities for the AM market, especially in industrial production.

In a joint project, researchers from the Belgian NPO Sirris and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP have investigated technical coatings for additive manufacturing (TCAM) with promising results.


Complex AM-fabricated parts dry after their metallization.

© Fraunhofer IAP

AM describes the construction of an object layer by layer using a 3D-model. The technologies vary but 3D printing is probably the best known. However, selective laser sintering (SLS), stereolithography (SLA) or material jetting (MJ) play important roles in the AM market.

While the first AM technologies were developed for rapid prototyping, today, AM is taking the leap into industrial production. It is one of the important future technologies that will influence the manufacturing market and beyond.

The industry can profit from AM with its production on-demand capabilities, its and flexible adaptability and the possibility to produce small quantities. However, the surface of the fabricated components is usually very rough and porous.

To meet this challenge, two partners investigated technical coatings for additive manufacturing in a joint project: Sirris is an organization focused on finding solutions for technological challenges, usually in projects with universities, research centers, companies, associations and other institutions. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IAP, among other areas of expertise, have long years of experience in technical coatings.

“Today, with the transition from rapid prototyping to industrial production, the demands on AM-manufactured components are growing. Being able to warrant consistent material quality is essential for industry producers. In addition, demands on the surface quality are growing”, says Dr. Andreas Holländer, expert in surface technology at the Fraunhofer IAP

Technical Coatings enable smooth and sealed surfaces with specific functions

With technical coatings, the Sirris and Fraunhofer researchers were able to significantly improve AM-produced parts regarding surface roughness and porosity. It turned out that the combination of lacquering and polishing is the most efficient technique for surface optimization in AM.

In addition, components can be functionalized further by using special lacquers or surface treatments. In the current project, the scientists metallized the smoothed components. The metal coating is a visible example for the functionalization process. Improved scratch resistance, antimicrobial properties and many more features are applicable.

Sirris provided different components made with SLS, SLA, MJ, and FDM (fused deposition modeling = 3D printing). All methods pose different challenges to surface treatment.

"With years of expertise in surface treatment, we are able to meet a wide range of requirements. We analyzed each part in the first step to determine the specific properties. Afterwards we were able to activate, paint, and polish and, in this case, metallize the respective surface with the appropriate method", says Holländer, who leads the research group at the Fraunhofer IAP.

Patrick Cosemans from Sirris Flanders adds: "If we only polish our finished components, it takes a long time, and especially with fine, detailed features, we change their shape. It comes to abrasion, which we want to avoid. With the Fraunhofer IAP we have developed possibilities to overcome the current problems, especially the porous and rough surface, in additive manufacturing."

Is combining AM with established technologies the future?

Conventional production methods often reach their limits with complex components.
The more complex a component, the more difficult and expensive it becomes in conventional production. AM opens up possibilities to produce complex components faster and more cost-efficiently. With AM, a component that would conventionally consist of many individual parts and would have to be assembled can be created in one step.

"It is important", says Dr. Holländer, "that every part of the component’s surface has the required quality. In complicated parts, some surfaces are difficult to reach. With the appropriate surface treatment technology, which in future will even be integrated into the AM machines, we are able to functionalize even complex components completely."

Finishing the project both partners conclude that AM in combination with established technologies provides even better capabilities and more possible applications than AM alone.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.polymer-surface.com/en/home.html

Dr. Sandra Mehlhase | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy
17.07.2019 | Swansea University

nachricht A new material for the battery of the future, made in UCLouvain
17.07.2019 | Université catholique de Louvain

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heat flow through single molecules detected

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Heat transport through single molecules

19.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Welcome Committee for Comets

19.07.2019 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>