Metal injection moulding (MIM) and ceramic injection moulding (CIM) are advanced net-shape processing technologies for the production of complex, high volume components. Together, these processes are known as powder injection moulding (PIM). You can find the products of this high-growth industry used in all areas of life – from the automotive sector to medical devices, eyeware to watches, computers, DIY tools, orthodontics, IT, mobile phones and more.
Plastic components have been produced by injection moldingfor years. Therefore the complexity of the components have increased steadily. Through the development of special processes, such as the multi-component injection molding, but also the micro-injection molding, completely new possibilities of plastics processing result are possible. In addition to plastics, since years the powder injection moulding (PIM) of metallic and ceramic materials are now well established. With this procedure complex components can be made out of metal and ceramic far cheaper than by using other production possibilities.
The powder injection molding (PIM) is divided into four production steps:
First, through a combination of plastic, wax and metal or ceramic powder a material is generated which can be processed by injection moulding. This material is generally named feedstock . By custom machine and tool technology, this feedstock can be injected, similar to plastic injection molding. The moulded part is so-called green part. The next step is the release of the plastic and wax component by the debindering process. The result is called brown part. The last step is the sintering of the brown part. In this process the individual particles are merged together, the brown part shrinks and becomes an compact component. This sintering shrink depends on the proportion of powder in the feedstock. This final component has similar properties to the base material.
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