Metal injection molding (MIM) merges two established technologies, plastic injection molding and powdered metallurgy. MIM offers greater design freedom than many other production processes by freeing designers from the traditional constraints associated with trying to shape stainless steel, nickel-iron, copper, titanium and other metals.
Compounding:To produce the MIM feedstock, fine metal powder is blended with primary and secondary thermoplastic polymers that act as binders for the powder.
Extrusion: The powder and binder go through a twin-screw mixer to create a consistent blend.
Molding: The feedstock is fed into proprietary MIM machine, which heats and injects it into a mold cavity under high pressure. The part created (now referred to as “green”) cools and is ejected from the mold.
Debinding: “Green” parts are submerged into a solvent to remove te primary binder.
Sintering: Once this Debinding process is complete, the components are referred to as “brown”. “Brown” parts are placed in a furnace to remove the secondary binder. Once the binder is evaporated, the particles of the metal fuse together and the component transforms to its final state.