Metal Injection Molding Service

Injection Molding Process

 

3Diligent's Metal Injection Molding Service provides customers a cost-effective avenue for pursuing large production runs. A major difference between this process and other injection molding methods is the post processing steps that take place to create a finished metal part.

 

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Process Overview

Metal injection molding starts with the fine, powdered metal. These particles are filtered into a barrel cavity, along with a binder agent, that rotates and mixes the two agents into an inject-able consistency. The rotating rod quickly jams forward, inserting the mixture into the negative space of the workpiece. Air escapes the workpiece's negative space through microscopic holes, allowing the metal filament to fully fill the cavity without exiting the workpiece like the air did.

After the parts are compressed and ejected from the cavity, they must go through post processing; often a de-binding step to remove the binder agent and a sintering step to solidify the metal part for end use.

Process at a Glance

Common Materials

Stainless steel, carbon steel, tungsten alloys

Standard Tolerance

~ +/-.003" (.080 mm)

Typical Surface Finish

~ 1.6um

Maximum Quantity

Per tooling quantity exceeds 10,000/year

Minimum Wall Thickness

~0.1 "

Advantages

  • High volume metal parts - Quantities in the 1000s will be cost effective
  • Complexity - Complex metal designs are feasible with metal injection molding when compared with, for instance, machining
  • Solid Material Characteristics - Parts material properties equivalent or superior to cast alloys

 

 

Limitations

  • Post processing steps required - Such as de-bindering and sintering
  • Small parts - Process is limited to small sized metal parts
  • Tooling expensive - Required for large production runs