Vapor smoothing uses a chemical polishing process to smooth and seal the surface of 3D printed plastic parts to improve the surface quality and enhance part performance, with minimimal effect on the dimensional accuracy (< 0.4%). Once finished, the finishing agent is evacuted from the chamber and no residue is left on the parts.
The process treats both internal and external surfaces, making it an excellent choice for parts with complex geometries or hollow features.
AMT PostPro Vapor Smoothing
AMT's PostPro chemical vapor smoothing technology is used for the vapor smoothing process, which uses a chemical vapor to liquefy the surface of the material. This process smooths out the peaks and valleys creating a smoother, more consistent surface.
When the procedure is complete the processing chamber is heated to evaporate any remaining solvent, leaving no chemical residue on the part.
Benefits of Vapor Smoothing
Enhanced Mechanical Properties
Vapor smoothing reduces surface porosity and crack initiation sites, which increases elongation at break with no loss of tensile strength.
Improved Surface Quality
The smoothing process smooths and seals the surface of a part, reducing the roughness from 250+ μin RA to 64 – 100 μin RA.
The process has a minimimal effect on the dimensional accuracy of the part, with no more than 0.4% dimensional change. The process also does not degrade the mechanical properties of the part.
Watertight and Airtight Surface
The surface of treated parts are completely sealed, making them liquid resistant and easy to clean.
Preparation for Surface Treatment
Vapor smoothing can be combined with additional surface treatements to improve the end result such as dyeing, cerakote, or metal plating.
Reduced Bacterial Growth
The reduced surface roughness of vapor smoothed parts reduces bacterial growth, making them suitable for use in the medical and food industries.
PostPro3D has been designed to process thermoplastic polymer materials. Currently the technology can process Polyamide (Nylon) (6,11,12), Flame retardant Nylons, Carbon/Glass filled derivatives of Nylons, Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE).
Nylon PA12, PP
Reduces surface roughness by 800% or more.
Improves tensile strength, yield stress and elongation-at-break.
Reduces surface roughness by 1000% or more.
Improves shore hardness, elongation-at-break and tear resistance.
Maximum shrinkage of 1%.