Metal Injection Molding (MIM)

MIM – a production method with (almost) no limits

Our advancements in the field of feedstock formulas has resulted in flow properties of the molding compounds which permit the reliable imaging of large differences in wall thickness, nearly sharp-edged changes in cross section or extremely thin wall thicknesses, for example.


Metal Powder

The finest metal powder or metal-powder alloys

In addition to traditional iron-based MIM materials as well as those with nickel and carbon as alloying elements, our production capabilities also include rust and acid resistant steels, nickel-based alloys and other high-temperature materials. Moreover, we have in our range materials whose properties are considerably superior to those of conventional materials, such as highly wear-resistant, highly heat-resistant soft-magnetic materials.


Mixing

Powders are blended with thermoplastic plastic binding agents to create an injectable mixture (feedstock)

It is typical for MIM techniques to blend fine metal powders with organic binders to create a homogenous mixture with metal-powder contents (by volume) which range from 50-70%. This homogenous mixture can be processed using injection-molding machines in the same manner as plastics can.


Injection

Shaping through injection molding

In the injection molding process – we have at our disposal machines with clamping forces of 500 - 2,000 kN – the mixtures are injected into molds and formed into molded parts which have all of the typical geometric features of the finished component. These so-called green parts then receive binding agents.


Debinding

Removal of the binding agent through debinding procedures

The removal of the organic binding agent is carried out using a debinding procedure we developed ourselves. The binders are completely removed from the components by means of solvent extraction.


Sintering

Sinterning components in protective gas or in vacuum conditions

The molded parts, which are now porous after the debinding procedure, are now condensed and solidified through sintering in protective gas or in vacuum conditions, giving them the exact geometric properties that are required. Linear shrinkage results in densities of up to 96%. Any remaining pores are well dispersed and only occur in the form of closed porosity.


Finishing and Refining

We deliver finished, ready-to-install components

In subsequent refining processes all conceivable heat and surface treatments can be carried out analogously to conventionally-manufactured components. The finishing competences of Schunk Sinter Metals go well beyond the scope of common finishing procedures. We help you to decide on a case-to-case basis which refinement measures are technologically and economically optimal for your product and application.


You too can profit from the advantages of sintering technology!

To the Products
  • Reproducibility, even in extremely large volumes
  • Ready-to-install parts at low unit costs
  • Material yield of nearly 100 %
  • Components in all stages of finishing
  • Environmental friendliness due to high degree of material and energy efficiency
  • Recyclability
  • Streamlined, stabile processes (LeanSigma)
  • Narrow tolerances, even for complex geometries
  • Weight savings compared to parts manufactured with other production methods