Metal Injection Molding (MIM)
MIM – a production method with (almost) no limits
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.