Metal injection molding or MIM is a powder metal process. The only difference between metal injection molding and straightforward injection molding appears to be through its use of a powder metal feedstock. Metallic feedstock is forced under pressure into a tool cavity. Two linking processes encourage this result. In the first place, a so-called green part enters a debind process. This process is followed by a sintering process, and these two processes, one following the other, help produce the high strength metal part.
A tool cavity is created by using two hardened tool steel dies. These dies have already been machined into shape. Most of the parts produced from the metal injection molding processes have been made from stainless steel alloys. But so-called exotic materials like titanium are also used to manufacture these parts. The main advantage of the MIM processes appears to be the production of finite parts in stainless steel and other metals that cannot be die cast or easily machined. Secondary operations are used to provide different forms of machining work, plating and finishing operations in order to produce the finished parts.
Molding machines range in weight from 60 to 100 tons. 150-ton injection molding machines are also used. Materials used to support these machines include SUS 316L, SUS 17 4PH, E75 and panacea. SUS316L is one of the most widely used materials in metal injection molding work. This has to do with its sound performance record in combating corrosion, managing dimension control and cosmetic polishing capabilities. Another factor influencing this material’s wide use is its affordability.
And the material has excellent finishing characteristics related to all plating, painting and sandblasting work. Molding design teams need detailed metal injection molding information from their clients in order to successfully facilitate the entire process to completion.