Taking Germany’s Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) Expert Group (MIM Expertenkreis) as its model, a new Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM) Expert Group has been established.
The aim of this new Ceramic Injection Moulding Expert Group is to promote CIM technology and it is intended that such a cooperative partnership will help in combating problems in CIM parts production at an early stage, while continuing to develop CIM technology.
Three working groups were established at the inaugural meeting, committed to focusing on CIM technology development, CIM technology marketing and CIM networking. The Technology Development Working Group met for the first time on June 3rd at Arburg with the aim of defining specific development projects.
Headed by Arburg’s Hartmut Walcher, the primary tasks of this working group are mould filling simulation, the detection of faults in green components and the drafting of design guidelines for CIM components.
It was agreed that information would be collected and compared relating to simulation processes thorough the carrying out of a benchmarking process with ZrO2 feedstocks from BASF and Inmatec, and to report on potential empirical values.
The resulting data will then be made available to all members of the group. Additionally, a test tool will be developed to verify filling simulations. Three manufacturers of simulation software are to be recruited for these tests.
In addition to the already existing internal fault databases maintained by Inmatec and Arburg, a comprehensive fault catalogue is also to be produced. The aim is to identify faults in green, brown and sintered components, feedstock, powders and binders, to evaluate possible reasons for the faults and to include instructions for fault remedy.
Even at this early stage, Hartmut Walcher drew positive conclusions “We expect that the agreed close cooperation between CIM producers, feedstock producers, machine manufacturers and representatives from the scientific sector will result in increased exchange of information and greater potential for innovation in the area of ceramic injection moulding. Realistic simulations and a comprehensive fault database will enable us to make ceramic injection moulding more competitive in the future.”
Participating companies and institutions in the expert forum and “Technology Development” working group are:
Adform AG, Arburg GmbH amp; Co KG, BASF SE, CeramTec AG, Deutsche Keramische Gesellschaft (DKG) e.V., Doncaster Precision Casting Bochum GmbH, Emil Bröll GmbH & Co. KG, Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), H.C. Starck Ceramics GmbH amp; Co. KG, Inmatec Technologies GmbH, Kläger Spritzguss GmbH amp; Co. KG, MicroCeram GmbH, MKS Kunststoffspritzguss GmbH, Rauschert-Heinersdorf Pressing GmbH and Sembach GmbH & Co. KG.
The working groups are to meet regularly at different locations, giving the experts the opportunity to view the CIM production systems of the various participating companies.