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%).
The process treats both internal and external surfaces, making it an excellent choice for parts with complex geometries or hollow features.
Vapor smoothing is compatible with a wide variety of thermoplastics including Nylon PA12, TPU, Polypropylene and composites.
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
Vapor smoothing smooths and seals the surface of a part, giving it a finish that is similar to injection molding. Parts produced with Multi Jet Fusion can have the surface roughness average (Ra) reduced from 6-13μm to 1.5μm.
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 impermeable to liquid and gas.
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.
Vapor smoothing is compatible with most thermoplastics including Nylon PA12, Ultrasint TPU, Polypropylene, Nylon 12 glass bead, and composites such as Onyx.
Reduces surface roughness by 1000% or more.
Improves shore hardness, elongation-at-break and tear resistance.
Maximum shrinkage of 1%.
Nylon PA12, PP
Reduces surface roughness by 800% or more.
Improves tensile strength, yield stress and elongation-at-break.
Glass filled, carbon filled
Improved elongation at break and tensile strength.