What is Metal Injection Molding?
Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is a development of the traditional powder metallurgy (PM) and plastic injection molding process. MIM process is an advanced powder processing technique because of net shaping with shape complexity at low processing energy and 100 % material utilization.
The MIM Process
• Mixing – Blend fine metal powders with proprietary ingredients to create viscous feedstock.
• Molding – Form complex shapes using standard injection molding tools and equipment.
• Debinding – Prepare molded components for high temperature sintering.
• Sintering – Subject components to temperatures up to 1600°C to achieve up to 99% densification.
• Finishing – Add standard engineering detail as needed (e.g., plate, heat treat, black oxide).
• Stainless Steels
– 304L, 316 L, 17-4 PH, 420, 440
• Low Alloy Steel
– 4605, 4105, 2200
• Titanium Alloys
• Soft Magnetic Alloys
– Fe-Si, Fe-Ni, Fe-Co
• Tungsten Alloys
– 95%W-Ni-Fe, 97%W-Ni-Fe
• Automotive Systems - Steering Columns (actuators, ignition lock components), Sun Roofs (stop cams), Seating Mechanisms, Solenoids, Fuel Injectors
• Orthodontics - Brackets, Buccal Tubes
• Medical and Dental Instruments - Endoscopic Surgical Instruments
• Firearm Components - Triggers, Sights, Safeties, Seer Blocks
• Ordnance - Guidance Fins
• Hardware and Lock Parts - Lock Cylinders, Bolts, and Sidebars
• Computers and Electronics - Disk Drive Components
• Electrical - Connectors, Switches
The metal injection molding (MIM) process offers the following advantages:
• Cost-effective manufacture of high volume complex parts
• Reduced production time compared with investment casting
• Net-shape manufacture with minimal material waste (runners, sprues recycable in-house): more significant as materials costs rise
• Mechanical properties superior to castings and other PM parts reflecting fine particle size and high sintered density
• Properties equivalent to wrought alloys
• Wide range of pre-alloys and master alloys available
• Minimum of finishing operations
• Industry leader in engineering unique components for production.
• Fast development of alloys & new materials.
• Rapid and economical prototype development system.
• Continuous sintering suited for high volume production.
• Renowned metallurgical experts.
• Flexible processing addresses large and small parts.
• Resources available for the largest production requirements.