The metalworking industry uses several methods to transform metals and components into parts necessary for machinery assembly. One of the most effective and popular processes is metal injection molding, which is used to create a variety of complex metal parts through a single step. Veteran manufacturers tend to investigate the process itself, its advantages and the applications of MIM parts before selecting it.
The Molding Process
Before considering parts created by this molding procedure, it is important to understand the basics. Metal injection molding is a process very similar to regular injection molding. However, it uses a metallic feedstock instead, which is created when powdered metal is combined with a plastic binding material. After that, the feedstock is placed into an injection molding machine, which pressurizes it. The part then goes through a debind, which removes the plastic binder, while the metal powders are condensed at high temperatures without altering the metal, a procedure known as sintering. The result is a small, but strong, multi-use component.
Advantages and Benefits
This molding process is preferred by several manufacturers due to a few benefits.
- Simultaneous creation of multiple complex parts
- Great variety of materials and alloys, such as stainless steel or titanium
- Decreased production times due to simple mass production
- Nearly all raw material is used and transported
- Low-cost process due to greater volume and less production time
- Flexibility that allows integration of multiple materials or parts into one component
These advantages are useful for certain industries that demand small, but high-performing, metal parts.
Applications of MIM Parts
Metal components created through this process are used for numerous purposes. Mainly, these parts are used in the assembly of cars, medical equipment, appliances and computers. They are also used in energy generation and other industrial settings.
Metal injection molding creates parts through a time and cost-efficient process. Manufacturers might consider this molding method if it can benefit the specific demands of their companies.