What is Metal Injection Moulding (MIM)?
Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) is a metal forming process that allows complex parts to be shaped in a single operation and in high volume. It is cost-effective for small, intricate, high-volume products which would otherwise be quite expensive to produce by alternate or classic methods.
Metal injection molded parts offer a nearly unlimited shape and geometric-feature capability
The MIM process utilises fine metal powders (typically less than 20 micrometers) which are custom formulated with a binder (various thermoplastics, waxes, and other materials) into a feedstock which is granulated and then fed into a cavity (or multiple cavities) of a conventional injection molding machine.
After the “green” component is removed, most of the binder is extracted by thermal or solvent processing and the rest is removed as the component is sintered (solid-state diffused) in a controlled-atmosphere furnace.
The MIM process is very similar to plastic injection molding, but in metal instead of plastic, and it can produce much the same shapes and configuration features.
The advantages of the metal injection molding process lie in its capability to produce mechanical properties nearly equivalent to wrought materials, while being a net-shape process technology with excellent dimensional tolerance control.
Metal injection molded parts offer a nearly unlimited shape and geometric-feature capability, with high production rates possible through the use of multi-cavity tooling.
Applications include; small arms parts, medical and diagnostic equipment, orthodontic components, automotive parts, Mechatronic components, switch gear.