For more than fifteen years Formatec Technical Ceramics bv, based in the town of Goirle, The Netherlands, has developed and manufactured a wide range of Ceramic Injection Moulded (CIM) products to meet customer requirements. The company has indicated that it is now experiencing a growing demand for MicroCIM components.
Michiel de Bruijcker, Formatec’s Managing Director, told PIM International, “Recently a clear market trend has been noticed towards MicroCIM technology. In response, Formatec is dedicated to supplying MicroCIM parts to the market and has planned a clear strategy over the coming years to meet anticipated requirements.”
An example of the successful realisation of a MicroCIM project is a CIM connector for the telecommunications industry (Fig. 1). This part features 64 octagonal micro holes on a surface of 2 x 2 mm. The actual size of each octagon size is 125 µm (Fig. 2). At the same time the cross section of the hole is tapered in order to guide the micro fibre through the hole.
Formatec states that tool design and development was done in close cooperation with the tool manufacturer ART-SMS, based in Tilburg. The mould insert was manufactured using high precision EDM wire processing. The actual component is produced from Yttria-stabilised Zirconium Oxide with a particle powder size of around 0.35 µm, processed with a special selected binder system. Injection moulding was performed on an Arburg injection moulding machine.
“It is our intention that, in line with our planned strategy, Formatec will demonstrate even smaller products and more complex shapes in the years to come,” stated de Bruijcker.