Engel signs exclusive Liquidmetal agreement

July 7, 2015

Engel signs exclusive Liquidmetal agreement - engel-01

Fig. 1 Engel’s special Liquidmetal all-electric E-Motion injection moulding machine

Injection moulding machine producer Engel Holding GmbH, Schertberg, Austria, has signed an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies Inc., Rancho Santa Margarita, California, USA, whereby Engel will be the exclusive machine manufacturing partner for Liquidmetals’ unique patented process for producing components from amorphous alloys by Liquidmetal injection moulding.

The exclusive agreement was announced at the 2015 Engel Symposium held in St Valentin, Austria, June 16-18, where a special all-electric E-Motion injection moulding production cell (Fig. 1) was demonstrated for Liquidmetal injection moulded medical forceps (Fig. 2) from an amorphous alloy based on zirconium.

The amorphous alloys are available in the form of slugs cut from round rods. These slugs are automatically fed into a melting chamber where the material is induction melted under high vacuum. Instead of a screw normally used in injection moulding, the special Engel machine has a piston with which the molten metal alloy is injected into a thermo-regulated mould. Very rapid cooling leads to the formation of the amorphous structure in the zirconium alloy which gives the material its unique characteristics. Robots are used to remove the finished parts. The sprue can, for example, be removed with the help of a water-jet cutting machine or mechanical shears.

Engel signs exclusive Liquidmetal agreement - engel-02

Fig. 2 Parts for medical forceps were produced from a Liquidmetal alloy at the 2015 Engel Symposium held in St Valentin, Austria

Dr Gerhard Dimmler, Engel Vice-President Research & Development Products, stated these amorphous materials are extremely hard, but at the same time highly elastic, with an elasticity of 2%, compared to 0.2% for steel and 1% for titanium. Liquidmetal amorphous zirconium alloys also have a low specific weight and excellent corrosion resistance, which make these alloys particularly suitable for moulding precision components. Additionally, the shrinkage rate during rapid solidification is extremely low (0.4%) which allows injection moulding to net shape.

Engel sees good potential for components produced by Liquidmetal injection moulding in the field of medical technology, with the parts for the forceps being moulded at the Symposium being a good example, while endoprostheses such as hip joints or stents are also conceivable. Thanks to the excellent mechanical properties of the material, very robust components can also be achieved with very low wall thicknesses.

www.engelglobal.com   |   www.liquidmetal.com


Spring 2023 issue of PIM International magazine

In the latest issue of PIM International…

Download PDF

Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Visottica Group: Integrated workflows and the value of Metal Injection Moulding in eyewear and beyond
  • In MIM’s post-smartphone era, where is China’s Metal Injection Moulding industry going?
  • Ceramic AM at scale: The story of how Steinbach AG scaled production to 12,000 parts a year for Da Vinci Surgical Systems
  • MIM F75 (Co-Cr-Mo) for high-volume production: The impact of sintering conditions on microstructure and properties
  • World PM2022: Research into the Binder Jetting of aluminium, Ni-free stainless steel, hardmetals and metallic glass

The latest news from the MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM industries

Don't miss any new issue of PIM International, and stay up to date with the latest industry news. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free-to-access PIM International magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of MIM, CIM and sinter-based AM from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


    Browse the archive


    Looking for suppliers of materials, production equipment and finished MIM, CIM or sinter-based AM parts?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PIM International.

    • Metal powders
    • MIM, CIM & AM parts producers
    • Binders & feedstocks
    • Feedstock mixers
    • Furnaces & furnace supplies
    • Atmospheres & gas generation
    • HIP systems & services
    • Injection moulding machines
    • AM technology
    • Debinding systems
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap