The June issue of Powder Injection Moulding International is out now and includes the following special features and technical papers, along with 14 pages of industry news, our illustrated patents section and PIM events guide.
Medical and dental applications for micro powder injection moulding – a roadmap for growth
In the light of an increasing global demand for micro powder injection moulded components, leaders in the field came together at a special workshop held as part of the PIM2009 Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, USA between 4-6 March 2009.
In this specially commissioned report for Powder Injection Moulding International, Professor Randall German looks at the key issues that were identified, including both the technical and commercial challenges that lie ahead.
Oechsler AG proves its competence in ceramic injection moulding with new BMW applications
Oechsler AG, based in Ansbach, Mittelfranken/Bavaria, Southern Germany, has long been a leading innovator when it comes to bringing new plastic-based injection moulded products to the market.
The company has now gone a stage further with the successful introduction of a range of ceramic injection moulded parts based on zirconia in the new BMW 7 series introduced early in 2009. PIM International recently visited the company and we report on recent innovations.
Turbocharger technology presents new opportunities for metal injection moulding
The unique ability of metal injection molding to produce complex components from materials that are difficult to process by other routes makes it ideally suited to the manufacture high performance turbocharger components.
As BASF SE’s Catamold® Group explains, a unique adaptation of the company’s Catamold® process may help to overcome some major challenges in the development of new metal injection moulded components for this sector.
Metal injection moulding flourishes in Zhuzhou, China’s hardmetal capital
Zhuzhou Luke’s Metal Powder Product Co. Ltd is a leading Chinese producer of MIM tungsten alloy and cemented carbide products.
Mr Xiao Yulin recently visited the company on behalf of PIM International and we report on an operation that is enjoying consistently high levels of sales growth to international markets.
PIM2009 Conference Review: Industry remains upbeat despite global recession
The Metal Powder Industry Federation’s PIM2009 conference took place in Orlando, Florida, in March. Despite the tough economic conditions, the conference programme and accompanying workshop and seminar succeeded in attracting delegates from around the world.
Mixing simulation for powder injection moulding feedstock: Quantification by the mixing entropy
Tae Gon Kang, Seokyoung Ahn, Seong Jin Park, Sundar V Atre, Randall M German
Micro-powder injection moulding is accepted as a means to mass-produce various metal or ceramic three-dimensional micro devices. There are several technological barriers for micro-PIM, such as the production of nano-size powders, mixing of nano-size powders with a binder system, injection moulding, debinding, and sintering.
One of the key technologies in the early stage of the process is a mixing of nano-size powders with a polymer-based binder. In this regard, we examined chaotic mixing in a continuous mixer using a finite element method and a particle tracking method. Using the particle size distributions along the down-channel direction, information entropy was used as a measure of the mixing progress.
The final mixing performance as affected by varying processing conditions was investigated in detail using the numerical scheme. The influence of processing conditions on mixing was studied via sensitivity analysis for the parameters.
Micro metal injection moulding for thermal management applications using ultrafine powders
H. Schmidt, A. C. Rota, Ph. Imgrund, M. Leers
There is an increasing interest in using tiny parts made of special metallic materials for new applications. In this new approach, active cooled heat sinks with a microstructured surface are produced by µ-metal injection moulding (µ MIM).
In contrast to conventional heat sinks made of copper, in this case the parts are made of copper-tungsten and copper-molybdenum due to their combination of low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and reasonable thermal conductivity.
In this paper the current status of production of micro parts and parts with microstructured surfaces by µ-MIM for thermal management applications are presented. The scope and limitations are outlined with special concern to the materials and the minimal structure size. The implication and advantages of using ultrafine powders are pointed out. Therefore sintering behaviour, microstructure of sintered parts and characteristic properties as density, CTE and thermal conductivity are shown.