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MIM-Metal Injection Molding
 
 

Metal powder Injection Moulding is a powder metallic forming procedure.

This process enables the inexpensive production of small, complex, metallic components.

Metallic components can be economically manufactured to a qualitatively high standard via the processing steps of injection moulding, debinding and sintering.

 
 
 
Fully-automatic injection moulding machines that enable the usage of tools with several cavities make large scale series production possible.

This technology is an alternative to established production processes such as metal-cutting manufacturing, press sintering or lost-wax casting.

The process is more economical compared to conventional processing for materials which are difficult to work with.


MIM process

Mixing
Fine metallic powder, usually with a grain size of 0.5~20 μm, is mixed together with an organic binding substance, a combination of waxes and polymers, in exactly defined volumes. The result of this mixing process is an injectable granulate, the feedstock.

Tool design
The data necessary for the tool such as the injection point, releasing edge, required surfaces etc. is determined in co-operation with the customer. Development and design is then carried out according to the probable production quantities.

Injection Moulding
The actual forming, the injection moulding takes place on conventional injection moulding machines, as are used in plastics processing. The green parts are approximately 15-20% bigger than the sintered finished piece depending on the binder and metal powder used due to the high volume of plastic. They have all the typical geometric characteristics of the finished piece.

Debinding
The organic binder which gives the metal powder its injectable characteristics has to be removed again at this stage as a metal component is the end result of the process. After this step a binder proportion of approx. 2-3% remains in the component which guarantees that it still has a manageable stability.

Sintering
The sintering of the pieces takes place in batch ovens which usually work subjected to protective gas. The parts are given their final size and reach densities of over 96% due to the high sintering activity of the fine powder at temperatures of between 1200° and 1400°.

Materials
Depending on the application OBE can offer a wide range of differing materials such as low alloyed steels for heat treatment, rust-free stainless steels, tool steel, magnetically soft alloys and kovar alloys:

Material
Status
Rp 0,2 MPa
Rm MPa
A%
Hardness HV 10
F
Sintering in H2
60
FN02
Sintering in H2 Carburized Hardening
150
250
25
100~600
FN02
Sintering in H2 Heat Treatment
250
800
500
950
3
3
160
340
FN08
Sintering in H2 Sintering in N2 Heat Treatment
200
400
1100
350
700
1350
15
3
1
120
210
400
8620
Sintering in N2 Carburized Hardening Carbonitriding
400
650
5
190
650
800
42CrMo4
Sintering in N2 Heat Treatment
400
1250
650
1450
6
2
180
45HRC
100Cr6
Sintering in N2 Heat Treatment
500
900
5
230
60HRC
430
Sintering in H2
220
400
30
125
316L
Sintering in H2
180
510
50
120
17-4PH
Sintering in N2 Heat Treatment
550
950
950
1100
6
8
320
38HRC
M2
Sintering in N2 Heat Treatment
800
1200
1.2
600
67HRC
Tungsten
Sintering in H2
320HV1

 
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