The advantage and power of vacuum in direct manufacturing

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Blog

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Thanks to direct manufacturing, we can conserve a lot of material that once went to waste during machining. Often, a lot of material is turned into machining chips and those are thrown away. That is not the case when vacuum is used for direct manufacturing of metal parts.

The method of direct manufacturing can create an exact shape to produce a product with just the right form. Sometimes, no machining or post operations are necessary. Direct manufacturing is like a 3D printing operation in which small metal particles are stitched together. All of the tiny deposits are then fused to make a complete part.

Since metal on metal will not stick in the manufacture of components, an extra step is necessary. In order for the metal deposits to stick together a binder is often used. That binder is then removed with heat in a vacuum environment to create a solid metal part with no entrapped air.

So, what are the benefits of direct manufacturing as compared to conventional machining? There are three primary advantages.

First of all, direct manufacturing can be used to manufacture complex shapes that are difficult to make with machining.

Secondly, it allows for rapid prototyping and quick manufacturing, shortening lead times.

Thirdly, it reduces costs and saves resources since some metals are expensive.

Why Vacuum Is Vital

In order for metal parts to be structurally strong with no voids or porosity, all foreign material such as air and binder must be removed. By placing the metal part into a vacuum chamber, the binding agent will evaporate and be removed from the part. Secondly, all of the air that could create porosity is removed.

Then, heat and possibly mechanical pressure are applied to make the part into a solid block of metal.

Another process is direct manufacturing a part by EB or laser welding. A vacuum chamber must be used for this process when creating parts from titanium and high-nickel alloys.

So, if your company is interested in developing a direct manufacturing process with the assistance of vacuum components, GNB Corporation is happy to partner with you.

Through excellence in design, production, service and attention to detail, our customers say, “WOW!” and they know they can count on us to deliver a product of unmatched craftsmanship that gives them an optimal operating advantage.