MIM Technology: The Technology Of Metal Injection Moulding
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This review paper describes the technology of Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), which has established itself as a competitive manufacturing process over the past decades. MIM technology is generally applied to produce small and precised components; which cost highly to be produced by other manufacturing methods. Production capability includes both large and small volumes complex shapes from various types of materials, including metals, ceramics, intermetallic compounds, and composites. Categorized as a metal forming process, MIM technology takes advantage of combining the material flexibility of powder metallurgy and the design flexibility of plastic moulding. MIM manufacturing process has outstanding mechanical properties. Products made by MIM technology can be found in various industry applications, such as automotive, chemical, aerospace, business equipment, computer hardware and bio-medical.
A relatively new technology known as Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) is classified as a development of the traditional Powder Metallurgy (PM) process. In general, the standard PM manufacturing process means making a lubricated powder mix compact in a rigid die by applying uniaxial pressure, which followed by ejecting the compaction from the die, and then sinter it . There is however one significant limitation with this PM process when regarding the product shape. During the PM process, the part in the die must be pushed out of the die cavity, which means the parts with undercuts and projections at right angles to the pressing direction are not possible to be made directly. MIM manufacturing process significantly eliminates this limitation, thus drawing manufacturer’s attention as a promising technology. MIM is regarded as...
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...tely 0.5 %, and down to approximately 0.001 inch for very small part dimensions. For tighter tolerances, the parts may require further machining or grinding operations.
• Production Volume: Due to high tooling costs factor, it generally limits the economic annual production volume to greater than 10,000 parts (this is not applicable for very expensive parts) .
The advanced technology of MIM process is regarded as ideal for small, geometrically complicated parts and components. MIM products are able to meet the high standards and requirements of mechanical properties, other benefit are the ability to manufacture in large volumes. The potential applications of this relatively new process are significantly greater than for conventional sintered metal products, thus providing new opportunities for applications within a large number of industrial areas.