Swedish iron powder producer Höganäs AB indicates that it has made major advances in the composition of material for the manufacture of Metal Injection Moulded components.
In the company’s Interim Report for the period 1 January – 30 June 2012 it stated, “As a result of our work on accumulating know-how end to end in the value chain for these components, we have discovered unique alloys, which combined with the right binding agents, enable the use of coarser powders for MIM components. This makes it possible to produce larger components through injection moulding simultaneous with a significant reduction in cost compared to traditional, finer MIM powders.”
Traditionally, stated Höganäs, the MIM process has been based on very fine metal powders, with particles as small as 20 microns. Such powders are very costly to produce, limiting their application to small, complex components where there is no more suitable technology.
Alongside its partner, Höganäs has successfully injection moulded and sintered coarser particles of 45 microns. This notably alters the costing, enabling the production of larger components (several hundred grams) using this technology.
Potential customers are participating with Höganäs in the development process. Testing is being conducted using Höganäs’ powder mixes and feedstock. Through this development work, Höganäs has been able to build up critical knowledge of the manufacturing process, including equipment settings, tooling pressure and sintering parameters.