Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques offer unprecedented freedom of design. Designers have shifted away from cuboidal components with straight bores and angled intersections towards organic shapes with snaking internal passages. Whilst this has clear benefits in the areas of fluid dynamics and light-weighting without compromising on mechanical properties, AM components can be very tricky to finish due to their complex geometries and relatively rough surfaces compared to conventionally machined components. These rough surfaces are often not good enough for many applications and considerable time and effort must be put into post-finishing in order to obtain a fit-for-use component.
Extrude Hone has the perfect solution to achieve advanced finishing of internal surfaces on AM parts, even where other processes fail. Extrude Hone’s abrasive flow machining method uses a non-Newtonian fluid loaded with abrasive as the cutting tool. This fluid will take the shape of internal passageways, regardless of geometry, and abrade the walls of the passage as it flows. By using Extrude Hone’s abrasive flow method, you can improve the flow properties of your AM components, remove partially sintered material that can lead to contamination and also remove stress risers, even in areas no other process is able to reach.
Spotting an unmet need for effective and reliable external surface finishing, Extrude Hone developed the COOLPULSE technology which is capable of internal and external finishing, uses an eco-friendly electrolyte and works on a wider variety of materials whilst yielding comparable or better results. Both AFM and COOLPULSE processes are suitable for aluminium, stainless steel, inconel and titanium and for a broad range of geometries meaning that most components can be finished by an Extrude Hone technology or combination of technologies.
Demonstrating its commitment to additive technology, Extrude Hone has recently set up a brand-new business unit called ‘Extrude Hone Additive’ and has struck a partnership with MMP Technology to introduce an exclusive new product called finish3D which is capable of surface roughness lower than 1µin Ra, regardless of incoming surface condition!
Extrude Hone Additive has also invested in 3D printing capabilities and is aiming to become an additive one-stop-shop for finishing and partner of choice for Design, Build and Finishing services.