Quintus Technologies, Västerås, Sweden, has introduced its Purus® Toolbox for Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP), said to enable functional, complex surface structures and media channels, as needed for medical implants and aerospace components, while avoiding detrimental surface oxides in a cost- effective and environmentally friendly way.
“Oxidized component surfaces, and especially alpha cased titanium components — a brittle oxygen-enriched surface layer formed on titanium alloys during high temperature processes — are prone to crack initiation and therefore detrimental to component strength and reliability in operation,” explained Peter Henning, Director Marketing & Sales, Quintus Technologies. “The oxygen, causing the oxidation during the process, originates from various sources, all of which must be controlled to ensure component performance. The oxidation issue is today (when at all possible) mitigated either by manually wrapping of all individual components in metal foil before the process, or by removing all oxidized surfaces using machining or etching with chemicals after the process.”
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Using the Quintus Purus toolbox, consisting of best practice in HIP operation, new HIP equipment hardware and software capabilities, and bespoke oxygen getter cassettes, most of these issues can be avoided or substantially reduced. This is said to give rise to design advantages and substantially reduce the cost and environmental impact of manufacturing components.
The issues around oxidised, intricate surface structures and locations, which are difficult to inspect, are getting increased attention as Additive Manufacturing continues to expand the possibilities to design and build increasingly complex, functional structures. Examples of complex structure include trabecular structures designed for bone ingress of cementless medical implants, and the narrow media channels as used for cooling and fuel transport in high-temperature jet engines and space propulsion.
The concept behind Purus was developed, tested, and tuned over several years in Quintus Application Centers in Västerås, Sweden, and Columbus, Ohio, USA and then verified in beta testing by select partners requesting the functionality to support their business opportunities.
As the beta tests have shown that good results can be achieved, the Quintus Purus toolbox is now made available as a retrofit to an existing Compact HIP system or as a feature to a new system.
Jan Söderström, CEO and president, Quintus Technologies, added, “Purus makes it possible to produce ‘ready-for-use’ complex surfaces directly from the HIP process without having to manually wrap each component in metal foil, nor remove oxidised surfaces by machining or chemical etching after the process. This reduces energy consumption, cost of manufacturing, and the need for hazardous chemicals. This innovation is yet another example on how we collaborate with our customers to create mutual and environmentally sustainable business opportunities.”