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In addition to 30 pages of news from the metal and ceramic injection moulding industry, the 80 page March 2012 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International (Vol.6 No.1) includes the following articles and special features:
Understanding defects in Powder Injection Moulding: Causes and corrective actions
Over the past 30 years Powder Injection Moulding (PIM) has experienced tremendous growth on the back of the technology’s ability to deliver complex high-volume, high-performance net-shape metal and ceramic components at lower costs than alternative processes. As with all technologies, however, problems can and do arise. Professor Randall German reviews the causes of a number of defects experienced during more than two decades of troubleshooting in PIM, along with the necessary corrective actions.
Innovation helps producer of CIM products for luxury applications expand into new markets
Some of the world’s most elegant CIM products are manufactured by Formatec Technical Ceramics B.V., based in the Netherlands. The company is a specialist manufacturer of luxury CIM products made from zirconia, which have a high gloss, aesthetically appealing surface finish. In addition, Formatec specialises in complex technical components manufactured from zirconia, alumina and silicon nitride. Dr Georg Schlieper reports on a recent visit to Formatec for Powder Injection Moulding International.
Titanium Powder Injection Moulding (Ti-PIM): Australian conference reviews developments
The international conference on “Powder Processing, Consolidation and Metallurgy of Titanium”, took place at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia on 5-7 December, 2011. Dr David Whittaker reports for PIM International on a number of international papers that addressed the latest developments in the metal injection moulding of titanium and its alloys.
Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) of PIM parts: Material properties and increased productivity
Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) of PIM parts is an effective route to achieving full density and improving mechanical properties for a range of PIM materials. The latest innovations in HIP technology, such as Uniform Rapid Cooling, URC™ , now make the case for the technology more appealing thanks to significantly faster processing times. Dr Anders Eklund, from Avure Technologies AB, Sweden, reviews the process and its advantages for PIM producers.
Injection moulding simulation: New developments offer rewards for the PIM industry
Dr.-Ing. Marco Thornagel
For many years 3D injection moulding simulation with SIGMASOFT® has been known as an efficient tool for reducing time to market in the MIM industry. In the meantime, software development advanced further to continuously increase the quality of results, in particular regarding rheological predictions such as jetting, flow front propagation and filling pressure. This paper summarises the basic requirements for successful MIM simulation and focuses on the benefits of advanced rheology models. Based on a bilateral project with an industrial partner, a simulation standard appropriate for MIM is defined and experimentally verified. Two results are interesting: firstly, the excellent match between experimental and simulated results prove the benefit of the continued software development and impressively document the current “state of the art” in MIM simulation. Secondly, the all-dominant role of material data becomes evident. Simulation reduces time to market significantly, but requires precise material data, which are not yet widely available.
Fabrication of titanium implants with a gradient in porosity by 2-Component-MIM
A. P. Cysne Barbosa, M. Bram*, H. P. Buchkremer, D. Stöver
2-Component-Metal Injection Moulding (2-C-MIM) was investigated for the fabrication of net-shaped porous titanium implants for bone replacement. A gradient in porosity was obtained by the combination of feedstocks with and without space holder particles (NaCl, particle fraction 355-500 μm). The addition of a space holder promotes the formation of functional pores in the titanium structure, which support mechanical interlocking with the surrounding bone tissue, due to bone ingrowth into the implant structure. In this work, feedstocks specially tailored to the 2-C-MIM application were developed. Special boundary conditions regarding the employment of space holder particles in the feedstock and feedstock flowing behaviour had to be taken into account. Sintered titanium spinal implants with a gradient in porosity are shown, demonstrating the potential
of this technique for biomedical application.
Feedstock development for Powder Injection Moulding of Zirconium Silicate
Elena Bernardo, Javier Hidalgo, Antonia Jiménez-Morales and José M. Torralba
The interest in Zirconium Silicate ZrSiO4 (zircon) arises from its wide availability and excellent properties. Due to its hardness, good corrosion resistance, high melting point, low thermal expansion and chemical inertness, ZrSiO4 can be used in many different applications. Powder Injection Moulding is a suitable alternative for ceramic processing. In this paper, a complete PIM process has been developed for ZrSiO4 using micrometer sized powders. Three different binders systems have been investigated: conventional LDPE-PW, HDPE-PEG and an alternative CAB-PEG system. Process parameters for different feedstocks have been evaluated and compared. The behaviour of binders using PEG as an additive is comparable to those using PW, with the benefit of a non harmful solvent. There is evidence of improved compatibility between binder components in the CAB-PEG system leading to higher sinter properties. It has been demonstrated that, for ZrSiO4 contents up to 60 vol.%, injection moulding can be accomplished at low debinding rates.
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