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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 Post Pro vapor smoothing to seal the surface of 3D printed plastic parts - enhance performance and surface quality

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

AMT Vapor smoothong - Enhanced Mechanical Properties (courtesy of AMT).jpg
Enhanced Mechanical Properties

Vapor smoothing reduces surface porosity and crack initiation sites, which increases elongation at break with no loss of tensile strength.

Post-AMT vapor smooth Improved Surface Quality (Courtesy of AMT).jpg
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. 

vapro fuse 3d printed plastic parts - Dimensional Accuracy (Courtesy of AMT).jpg
Dimensional Accuracy

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 for 3D printed plastic - AMT vapor smoothed TPU (Courtesy of AMT).jpg
Watertight and Airtight Surface

The surface of treated parts are completely sealed, making them liquid resistant and easy to clean.

Preparation for Surface Treatment - AMT Post Pro vapor fuse plastic
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.

AMT Vapor smooth - Reduced  Bacterial Growth for medical and food use (courtesy of AMT).jpg
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.

Material Compatibility

Amt Post Pro vapor smoothing has been designed to process thermoplastic polymer materials. This includes Nylon (6,11,12), Flame retardant nylons, carbon/glass filled derivatives of nylons, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).

Rigid Plastics

Nylon PA12, PP

  • Reduces surface roughness by 800% or more.

  • Improves tensile strength, yield stress and elongation-at-break.

  • Increased functionality.

  • Sealed surface.

Elastomers

TPU, TPE

  • Reduces surface roughness by 1000% or more.

  • Improves shore hardness, elongation-at-break and tear resistance.

  • Maximum shrinkage of 1%.

  • Sealed surface.

Whitepapers

Post Pro Vapor Smoothing on HP MJF Nylon PA12

Test results of AMT Vapor Smoothing on the surface roughness, dimensional tolerance and mechanical properties of HP Nylon PA12 

Post Pro Vapor Smoothing on Polypropylene

Test results of AMT Vapor Smoothing on the surface properties, mechanical properties, and dimensional variation of polypropylene parts.

Post Pro Vapor Smoothing on BASF TPU01

Test results of AMT Vapor Smoothing on the surface quality, mechanical properties and dimensional variation of BASF Ultrasint TPU01

Learn more 

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