Metal injection is a processing method for making metal parts of a desired shape by mixing powdered metal powder and binder and injecting them into a mold.
In recent years, the trend toward high precision and complex shapes of parts has become more and more rapid as products such as information equipment, electronics and medical devices have become smaller and more sophisticated. We at CASTEM have foreseen this trend and have developed our own Metal Injection Molding (MIM) process without relying on imported technology from the U.S. In 1991, we obtained a patent for this process in the U.S., and now we are the first to introduce it to the U.S. We have developed a metal injection process. Since then, we have continued to explore the possibilities of metal injection, and today we are responsible for the development of machine parts that can only be made with metal injection. In the future, we will continue to improve our products to meet the needs for higher precision and more complex shapes.
Design characteristics and limitations of metal injection
1. light weight
The MIM process is not suitable for wall thicknesses greater than 10m/m, but it can be expected to reduce costs and improve quality with proper de-wrapping.
As shown in Figure A below, it is possible to produce a product without any Rs at the corners and edges, but to obtain higher strength, B is preferable.
3. Draft angle
Metal injection molding can be done without a slope for mold removal. However, depending on the shape, a slope may lead to lower costs.
Possibilities and practicalities of metal injection
1. Possible hole size
Hole diameter D
(m/m) Possible length L
0.1 to 0.3 10×D
0.3 to 1 20×D
1 – 3 30×D
2. Insert molding
Due to the high precision of metal injection products, they can be inserted into parts made of other materials and manufactured by other methods.
3. Injection port
The inlet for injection molding is selected according to the shape of the product and the location of the mold split.
What It Brings
Small lot products of 3,000 pieces or less are handled by low-cost, small-lot-only models. We can handle a wide range of products from 10 to 10,000 pieces per lot.
[Tooling] We have our own tooling plant with a monthly production capacity of 70 dies. We have our own mold plant with a monthly production capacity of 70 molds, and we can respond quickly to requests for low-cost, quick delivery and setup modifications.
[Product materials] SCM, SKD, Stellite and a wide range of materials other than standard metal injection materials (FeNi, stainless steel, etc.)
[Sintering Process] We can perform degreasing and sintering at high speed to prevent deterioration and deformation of metal powders during the binder degreasing process, and we can sinter metals in the most suitable process for each metal by freely operating in a variety of atmospheres such as vacuum, reduction, inert and high-pressure atmospheres.
Post-processing] Integrated production including precision machining, heat treatment and plating.
Metal injection has a density of 95% or higher and the vacancies are round and independent, which gives it superior mechanical strength. In comparison, sintered materials usually have a density of about 88% and many vacancies are scattered along the grain boundaries, so their mechanical strength is inferior to that of sintered materials.
Metal injection exhibits the same properties as wrought materials, such as torsion and bending.
How To Be Utilized
We have a system in place to create our own processes, and our technology has improved dramatically. (U.S. patent granted in 1991)
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