Metal Injection Molding

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Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is a variation on traditional plastic injection molding that enables the fabrication of solid metal parts utilizing injection molding technology. In this process, the raw material, referred to as the feedstock, is a powder mixture of metal and polymer.  For this reason, MIM is sometimes referred to as Powder Injection Molding (PIM). Using a standard injection molding machine, the powder is melted and injected into a mold, where it cools and solidifies into the shape of the desired part. Subsequent heating processes remove the unwanted polymer and produce a high-density metal part.

Metal injection molding is best suited for the high-volume production of small metal parts. As with injection molding, these parts may be geometrically complex and have thin walls and fine details. The use of metal powders enables a wide variety of ferrous and non ferrous alloys to be used and for the material properties (strength, hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, etc.) to be close to those of wrought metals. Also, because the metal is not melted in the MIM process (unlike metal casting processes), high temperature alloys can be used without any negative affect on tool life. Metals commonly used for MIM parts include the following:

· Low alloy steels
· Stainless steels
· High-speed steels
· Irons
· Cobalt alloys
· Copper alloys
· Nickel alloys
· Tungsten alloys
· Titanium alloys

Metal injection molding (MIM) is a metalworking process in which finely-powdered metal is mixed with binder material to create a “feedstock” that is then shaped and solidified using injection molding. The molding process allows high volume, complex parts to be shaped in a single step. After molding, the part undergoes conditioning operations to remove the binder (debinding) and densify the powders. Finished products are small components used in many industries and applications.  Learn more.