Progress of Two-Component Micro Powder Injection Moulding (2C- MicroPIM)
Technical Paper: PIM International, Vol.5 No.1 March 2011, pages 68-71, 1906 words
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Applied Materials, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Two-component micro powder injection moulding (2C-MicroPIM) offers some very interesting opportunities to microsystem technology. It allows the combination of different features like hard - soft, magnetic - non-magnetic, electrically conductive - insulating as well as hard - tough by integrating different materials within one micro device. However, it is accompanied by complex challenges.
In the presented study the availability of 2C-MicroPIM for the production of fixed, as well as, movable shaft-to-collar connections will be discussed. In detail, the influence of the materials like ceramic powders and binder components, the design of the injection moulding tool and the adjustment of the process parameters are important steps, which have to be understood and optimised.
With respect to this task significant progress compared to previous trials has been achieved. The influences of these factors are presented as well as essential methods for improving 2C-MicroPIM for the production of movable and fixed connections.
Due to the growth of microsystem technologies, high demands are made on the production of complex micro devices. Micro injection moulding represents an important facility to produce such micro devices by mass production. For plastic applications this technology is already established, while its applications for micro parts which are composed of robust materials like metals or ceramics still need further development. Micro parts composed of ceramics or metals can be produced by micro powder injection moulding (MicroPIM).
The basic requirement for MicroPIM from the materials side of view is a combination of a ceramic or metallic powder and diverse binder components. Generally the binder consists of a polymer, a diluent and one or more additives.
A further benefit can be obtained when two materials can be combined in a micro device and therefore also different functions. This can be enabled by the so-called two-component micro powder injection moulding (2C-MicroPIM), for which two injection units are used. Also for this type of injection moulding, an elementary development is necessary. Research activities on this technology began during the last few years. These activities include studies based on metals [1-4] as well as ceramics [5-7]. The potential of two-component micro powder injection moulding is being studied with the help of a shaft-to-collar-connection as demonstrator. The axle of this demonstrator is composed of alumina, while the gear wheel is made up of yttria-doped zirconia. ........
Further sections of this paper include:
- Conclusions and outlook
Figures and Tables:
Fig. 1 Scheme of the gear wheel for the shaft-to-collar connections. Left: Former design with C-arc shaped gatings. Right: Actual design with point-shaped gatings
Fig. 2 Green bodies of shaft-to-collar connections. Top: Former design with C-arc shaped gatings. Bottom: Actual design with point-shaped gatings. The upper part of the axle was broken away in both cases to enable a view at the gatings of the gear wheel
Fig. 3 Scanning electron microscopy image of the interface of a sintered shaft-to-collar connection (movable connection)
Fig. 4 Stereo microscope image of a cross section of a sintered shaft-to-collar connection (fixed connection)
Table 1 Debinding and sintering parameters for movable shaft-to-collar connections
Table 2 Debinding and sintering parameters for fixed shaft-to-collar connections
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