The development of Metal Injection Molding(MIM)industry was reviewed. The production methods of MIM powder and some typical MIM processes, which were the two chief factors affecting the MIM industry of 21st century.
Typical MIM product and Application area
Aerospace Industry: The airplane wing hinge,Rocket nozzle, Missile rudder and Ceramic turbine blades core.
Automobile industry: The ignition control lock components, the turbine rotor, the valve guide components, the auto brake parts and Automobile sun block parts.
Electronics Industry: disc drive parts, cable connector, tube and shell, the computer print head and electronic packaging pieces.
Military-industrial:Landmine rotor, gun board trigger, the bullet core of armour piercer, front sight base and arrows play small cluster.
Medical treatment: Tooth orthopaedic braces, suture needle in the body, living tissue sampling clamp and anti-radiation screen cover.
Daily necessities: Watch case, watch strap, table button, golf balls and ball seat, sneaker buckle, sports gun parts and document binding punch.
Machinery industry: Special-shaped cutter, cutting tool and micro-gear.
MIM requires raw material powder be very fine, so as to ensure the well- proportion dispersity, the well rheological property and the great velocity of sintering. Hence, the price of MIM raw material powder usually 10 times as traditional PM
powder,this is the crucial factor which restricted the MIM technology been extensively applied. The ideal MIM process adopt 2~8um granularity, 40%~50% apparent density, above 50% tap density. The present MIM processes powder
mainly with the method of carbonyl, high pressure gas atomization, ultra-high pressure water atomization, plasma atomization method, laminar flow atomization, powder coating, and so on.