Sweden’s Avure Technologies, a leading manufacturer of ultra-high pressure systems, has established a state-of-the-art Application Centre to assist fabricators utilising advanced materials in the development of hot and cold isostatic pressing (HIP, CIP) applications.
The new facility, adjacent to Avure’s manufacturing plant, is equipped with two Hot Isostatic Presses and one Cold Isostatic Press. HIP technology produces parts with excellent isotropic material properties, offering the highest possible density of all available compaction methods.
“The Application Center allows us to collaborate further with component fabricators in areas such as Additive Manufacturing (3D-printing), Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), and Investment Casting (IC) to ensure they select the best pressing systems to match their needs,” stated Jan Söderström, CEO of Avure Technologies AB. “We can help them verify their fabrication processes and determine parameters for cycle optimisation before they go into full-scale production.”
Currently hosting projects related to densification (defect healing) and the removal of residual porosity in IC, the Application Centre provides the opportunity to evaluate the latest in HIP technology, for instance, quenching under full pressure.
“Traditionally, HIP has been used for densification, but the trend is now to combine densification with solution treatment, quenching, ageing, and/or other heat treatment processes in the same cycle,” explains Avure’s Peter Henning, Business Unit Director-AMD. “This leads to significant savings in lead-time, improved product quality, and lower costs and energy savings resulting from fewer transports and re-heating.”
The Application Centre CIP has a working pressure up to 12,000 bar (174,000 psi), while the HIPs have a working range up to 2070 bar (30,000 psi) and 2000°C (3632°F). These presses are equipped with either the Uniform Rapid Cooling (URC) or Avure’s proprietary Uniform Rapid Quenching (URQ) capability, which permits cooling rates of >3000°C (5432°F) per minute to be achieved.
“Having a well-equipped centre for testing has proven to be a very powerful tool in discussions with prospective adopters of HIP technology,” added Henning. “Additionally, we offer services to evaluate the chemical composition, porosity, and mechanical properties of materials after testing.”
With vigorous development of new manufacturing techniques in the HIP arena, such as near-net shape for Powder Metallurgy, MIM, and especially Additive Manufacturing, Henning expects Avure’s Application Centre to become an integral part of component fabricators’ process optimisation and testing. “It will be an important, cost-effective step before parts manufacturers invest in new equipment or enter full-scale production,” he stated.
When not engaged in customer testing, the centre’s capacity is used for university or research institute projects exploring new HIP applications.