Thermal Radiation Heating

Orion AM's patent-pending technology applies continuous Thermal Radiation Heating during the 3D printing process to effectively bond printed layers together, resulting in unprecedented interlayer bonding and mechanical strength.

A new approach to AM


Overview

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) suffers from weak interlayer bonding, delamination and warping because the material cools down after being deposited. A heated chamber usually heats the air, but Orion AM's Thermal Radiation Heating heats the material!

Benefits

With Thermal Radiation the heat penetrates through the material, allowing the layers to truly fuse together. This results in parts that are more uniform in strength, more dense and stronger. 

Results

Orion's technology resolves the anisotropic nature of FFF 3D printing, even for difficult to print aerospace-grade materials like PEEK and PEI.  This results in nearly isotropic properties.

Tensile strength PEEK
Study - Z orientation

Without Thermal Radiation Heating

Delamination - Poor Interlayer Bonding - low strength

  • Visible Layers
  • Porous Structures
  • Poor Interlayer Bonding
  • Low Strength, Anisotropic

With Thermal Radiation Heating

Strong interlayer bonding

  • No Visible Layers
  • Dense, Homogenous Structures
  • Good Interlayer Bonding
  • High Strength, Isotropic

Uniform Strength & Crystallinity

High-performance polymers like PEEK are semi-crystalline thermoplastics that are typically injection molded with nearly isotropic properties, meaning that the material properties are the same in all directions.

Typically, the FFF process produces anisotropic behavior compared to injection molding. However, when Thermal Radiation Heating is applied during the printing process, the layers fuse together resulting uniform properties and nearly isotropic stress, strain, young’s modulus and hardness throughout the part. 

 Additionally, the Thermal Radiation Heating also keeps the material at an elevated temperature preventing shrinkage and warping but more importantly, allowing semi-crystalline materials time to form the crystalline structures that give them their superior mechanical properties.

Thermal Radiation Heating

 The Orion AM TRH Technology efficiently heats the print from all directions up to 300°C.  The heating chamber acts as a source of continuous thermal radiation which heats up the material by radiation which is more efficient than heating the air via convection. 

The thermal radiation is emitted at an emission spectrum similar to the absorbance spectrum of the material, further optimizing the energy transferred to the material and thus increasing the inter-layer bonding and improving mechanical strength. 

The Orion AM A150 uses this technology to enhance the properties of polymers like PEEK, and allow us to obtain better results in functional end-use parts, including implants or aerospace parts.