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In addition to 30 pages of news from the metal and ceramic injection moulding industry, the 72 page June 2012 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International (Vol.6 No.2) includes the following articles and special features:
Advances in PIM biomaterials: Materials, design, processing and biofunctionality
Medical products have a large number of critical requirements. Today’s state of the art in PIM technology already meets many of these, however not all the requirements of biomedical applications can currently be met by PIM solutions. In this article, Dr. Frank Petzoldt, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IFAM institute in Bremen, Germany, considers what developments are needed for PIM to be able to offer further added value in medical applications. From new design features to special surface structures that enhance biofunctionality, there are numerous challenges and opportunities ahead for the industry.
A new centre for PIM research in the UK: Sheffield’s Mercury Centre opens for business
The City of Sheffield, in the north of England, has a long tradition of expertise in metalworking that dates back to its dominant position as a centre for steel production in the 19th century. This tradition is set to continue with the recent opening of the University of Sheffield’s new Additive Manufacturing Suite, part of the University’s Mercury Centre for Innovative Materials and Manufacturing. Dr David Whittaker attended the opening ceremony on April 19 2012 for Powder Injection Moulding International and reviews recent work undertaken relating to PIM and Additive Manufacturing.
MIM2012 Review: MIMA’s annual conference returns to the heartland of MIM
The MIM2012 International Conference on the Injection Molding of Metals, Ceramics and Carbides took place in San Diego, California, from March 19-21. Organised by the Metal Injection Molding Association (MIMA), a trade association of North America’s Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), the event once again attracted more than 130 delegates. Over the following pages PIM International presents some event highlights.
New Micro Injection Moulding module presents new opportunities for PIM producers
With its new Micro Injection Moulding module, ARBURG GmbH + Co KG, based in Lossburg, Germany, is offering PIM producers an effective route towards series production of metal and ceramic micro-components. As Marko Maetzig explains, this next-generation system can be used on the company’s standard electric machine range and overcomes many of the traditional challenges associated with the production of parts with extremely small shot volumes.
Influence of surface aspects and properties of MIM titanium alloys for medical applications
D. Auzène, C. Mallejac, C. Demangel, F. Lebel, J. L. Duval, P. Vigneron, J. C. Puippe
The Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) process is a near net shape manufacturing method allowing the production of small to moderate sized complex shaped components and it presents significant innovation potential for the implantable devices industry. The French Regional Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer, CRITT-MDTS, associated with the University of Compiègne, has assessed the properties of MIM-titanium alloys for medical applications. To this end, titanium alloy rods have been machined and titanium feedstocks have been injected, debound and sintered to assess the biological properties of these materials. Chemical and physical features, cytocompatibility and surface aspects have been comparatively studied on each sample. The results revealed that MIM-Titanium, compared to machined titanium, has demonstrated a specific surface roughness with an excellent biological response. Moreover the conformity of chemical and mechanical properties to international standards leads us to consider the injection moulding process as a flexible manufacturing method for future implantable devices in contact with bone.
Manufacturing of a 316L stamper for imprinting by Micro Sacrificial Plastic Mould insert MIM (μ-SPiMIM)
Kenji Okubo, Shigeo Tanaka, Hiroshi Ito and Kazuaki Nishiyabu
This study aims to develop a manufacturing method for a metallic stamper via the Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) process for the imprinting of micro structures on a plastic sheet. In the Micro-Sacrificial Plastic Mould Insert MIM process, or μ-SPiMIM process, the feedstock composed of stainless steel 316L (D50=2 μm) or Ni (D50=0.74 μm) powder and a polyacetal-based binder was filled into a polymethylmethacrylate mould with line and space patterns from 47 μm wide and 150 μm high, to 6 μm wide and 19 μm high. It was debound and sintered in a H2 and Ar gas atmosphere. The filling state of the feedstock into the micro-channels and the transcriptional property of the sintered parts was evaluated by cross-sectional SEM observation. The experimental results revealed reasonable evidence that submicron Ni powder could be sintered at low temperatures and accomplished high transcription in a narrow cavity mould. It can be concluded that the μ-SPiMIM process offers the potential to mass-produce the stamper for imprinting made of versatile highly-durable metals.
A comparative study of Micro Powder Injection Moulding (MicroPIM) and simultaneous Micro Powder Injection Compression Moulding (MicroPICM)
Elvira Honza, Marian Kruchem, Klaus Plewa, Volker Piotter
Less material shear, the minimisation of sink marks and warpages, as well as a reduction of injection pressure, clamping force and cycle time are just a few advantages of the Injection Compression Moulding Process. The aim of this work is to investigate powder injection compression moulding (MicroPICM) by use of full factorials Design of Experiments (DoE) and to compare the accurate replication of micro structures with the micro powder injection moulding (MicroPIM) process. The investigation was focused on simultaneous MicroPICM processing. The influence of compression force, compression speed, compression starting time, and holding time of compression force was investigated using zirconia feedstock on a commercial injection moulding machine using a micro structured mould insert. The results show that, in comparison to MicroPIM, an improved replication was achieved with the simultaneous MicroPICM process. Compression force and compression speed are shown to have a significant influence on replication. Furthermore, the position of the structure to the gate is relevant. The comparative study of MicroPIM and MicroPICM was carried out on both green bodies and sintered parts.
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