Giant A380 Airbus takes off using tiny Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) parts

January 1, 2008

The giant double-decker Airbus A380 airliner went into commercial service with Singapore Airlines in October 2007 flying from Singapore to Sydney, Australia.

The first Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) parts to be used in the Airbus family, including the A380, are tiny microswitch arm parts produced from 316L stainless steel by Metal Injection Mouldings Ltd located in Altrincham, near Manchester, UK. A pair of these MIM components replace 22 existing parts on a de-icing valve, previously made for the A320 aircraft.

000458Metal Injection Moulding Ltd states that the original Microswitch units were assembled from 11 items, including pressings, small shafts, nuts, washers etc., compared to the one-piece MIM parts. Furthermore, the 2 pillars incorporate recessed rivet features, enabling the very quick fitting of a plastic micro-switch.

The use of MIM parts considerably reduced the cost of purchasing, stocking, controlling and assembling these units at Airbus.

In the latest issue of PIM International…

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

  • Calling all product designers: Discover what Metal Injection Moulding could do for you through these award-winning parts
  • Binder Jetting of a dual-phase steel: Process insight and optimisation using the Master Sintering Curve
  • The rise of filament-based metal AM: New materials and machines present opportunities for MIM producers
  • Sinter-based Additive Manufacturing at the 20th Plansee Seminar on Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
  • Ceramitec 2022: Opportunities abound for producers of technical ceramics by CIM and AM

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