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Metal Injection Molding
By Ray Walker
What is Metal Injection Molding?
Process of Metal Injection Molding Metal injection molding is a fast growing manufacturing method that bridges the gap between the technology up gradation and costs involved. The metal injection molding process involves five steps, mixing, injection molding, de binding, sintering, and part finishing.
In the mixing step, metallic powders, selected for their strengths and inherent abilities such as impact strength, high and low temperature characteristics, wear resistance characteristics, machine ability, and hardness, are mixed, often with a binding agent. By mixing powders, the goal is to create a composite with the strengths and benefits of all the incorporated metals, while offsetting the independent weaknesses.
Once the powders are mixed, a “feedstock” is produced. This feedstock is injected into molds in the same way that plastic or rubber injection molding is performed. The part that emerges from the injection molding stage is referred to as a “green” part.
In the de binding stage of metal injection molding, the green part is immersed in a water bath to remove the binder, which has entered into the part matrix. In cross-linking, the de bound green part is exposed to ultraviolet light which thermo sets the binding agents used with the metal powders.
Once the de binding stage has been completed, the part is placed into a furnace and heated to over 2000 degree Fahrenheit. This process, called sintering, fuses the metal parts into a solid shape. Finally, the sintered piece is sent to a finished stage where burrs and surface imperfections are removed and the finished part can be shipped.
Advantages of Metal Injection Molding
Uses of Metal Injection Molding
To Sum Up
By Ray Walker
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