PIM International, Vol 6 No 3 September 2012


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In addition to 35+ pages of news from the metal and ceramic injection moulding industry, the 88 page September 2012 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International (Vol.6 No.3) includes the following articles and special features:


PM2012 World Congress Preview: Japan’s MIM industry in the spotlight

The PM2012 Powder Metallurgy World Congress & Exhibition, to be held at the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Centre, Japan, October 14-18, promises to be the most important event of the year for the MIM industry. With industry leaders attending from around the world, and the participation of some of Japan’s leading MIM parts producers in the exhibition, we report on the current status of MIM in Japan and preview what PM2012 has to offer for delegates and exhibition visitors alike.

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Epson Atmix Corporation: Major expansion underway after the devastation of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Epson Atmix Corporation, part of Japan’s Seiko Epson Corporation, is the world’s largest supplier of water atomised powder to the MIM industry, as well as being a leading Japanese producer of MIM parts. When the company’s manufacturing plant, located in the Japanese coastal city of Hachinohe in the north east of Japan, was flooded by the devastating tsunami of March 2011, the impact was felt by MIM part producers worldwide. In the weeks and months after the tsunami, the staff and management at Epson Atmix worked tirelessly to restore production in challenging conditions, and the company is now in the process of completing a significant MIM powder capacity expansion.

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Hardex: Expertise in Ceramic Injection Moulded components for Swiss luxury watches

Ceramic Injection Moulding continues to enjoy considerable success in the Swiss luxury watch industry thanks to the unique combination of technical and aesthetic qualities that the process is able to offer. Hardex, based near the French border with Switzerland, is part of a larger group of companies that has supplied components to the Swiss watch industry for more than 160 years. PIM International reports on the company’s CIM activities and presents an overview of the use of CIM and MIM by the Swiss watch industry.

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MIM at PowderMet 2012: Advances in powder production, new materials and processing

The Metal Powder Industries Federation’s PowderMet 2012 conference, held in Nashville, Tennessee, from 10-13 June, 2012 featured a number of presentations dedicated to developments in MIM grade powder production, materials and processing. Dr. David Whittaker reviews a selection of key papers for Powder Injection Moulding International.

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Rapid Prototyping of highperformance ceramics opens new opportunities for the CIM industry

Whilst Rapid Prototyping has for a number of years enabled MIM producers to offer functional prototypes of components to their customers, the technology to enable the cost-effective low volume production of functional ceramic prototypes has until now remained out of reach. Dr. Johannes Homa, of Austria’s Lithoz GmbH, outlines a novel Additive Manufacturing process that opens up new opportunities for CIM producers.

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Ceramic coated molybdenum setter plates for MIM offer increased capacity and energy efficiency

Ceramic coated molybdenum setters have been developed specifically for use as sintering bedplates in Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) parts production, including stainless steels, iron-nickel alloys, tungsten alloys and other powder materials. As Japan’s A.L.M.T. Corp. explains, a variety of suitable ceramic powders can be used to coat the molybdenum setter to prevent the interaction between MIM parts and the setter, whilst also offering increased furnace capacity and energy savings.

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An evaluation of coarser iron powders as a substitute for carbonyl iron in low alloyed MIM materials

Mike Stuckey, Jens Rassmus

The effect of substituting carbonyl iron with a water atomised coarser iron powder (d50: 20-40 μm) was investigated regarding dimensional stability, mechanical properties and metallography, for an Fe-2Ni-0.5%C MIM feedstock. Three substitution levels (10, 20 and 30 weight%) as well as a control sample (0% coarse powder added) were mixed. Tensile and sharpy bars were injection moulded, debound in water and sintered in 76%N2/24%H2 at 1180°C. Main conclusions are that even if sintered density is affected (decreased) almost linearly with added coarse powder the effect on the micro structure counteracts this negative effect on mechanical properties resulting in unaffected ductility and slightly higher yield strength (with 30% added coarse powder) but decreased ultimate tensile  strength and hardness. Dimensional stability in terms of slumping decreases with an increasing amount of coarse  powder, but dimensional variations are improved (less variations with more coarse powder).

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Production of a new Plasma Spheroidised (PS) titanium powder

Dr. Colin G. McCracken, Charles A. Motchenbacher and Ronald C. Deeter Jr.

Titanium metal injection moulding (MIM) has been successfully practiced for many years, however it still remains a niche application for several reasons. Titanium is known as the universal solvent and will readily absorb interstitial elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen at elevated temperatures which in turn can significantly impact its mechanical properties. Therefore selection of the binder and debinder system is very important and can be costly if ultra low interstitial element limits are required. Another significant hurdle to the market expansion of titanium MIM is the relatively high cost of the fine spherical titanium powder used to produce the feedstock. There are two well established spherical titanium powder production routes. Ametek – Reading Alloys has been developing a new high volume, Plasma Spheroidisation (PS) titanium powder production route that offer both technical and productivity advantages over the existing manufacturing routes.

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Processing and characterisation of porous NiTi alloy produced by metal injection moulding

Gang Chen, Guian Wen, Peng Cao, Neil Edmonds, Yimin Li

Porous NiTi parts were produced by metal injection moulding using three different feedstocks. All the feedstocks were formulated with a polyethylene glycol (PEG)/ polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) binder system and elemental powders. The microstructure was characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. After sintering at 1100°C for 2 h, the NiTi parts were porous with the average open cell porosity being 39.2, 38.4 and 40.9% for the three different feedstocks,  respectively. The sintered parts made from these feedstocks revealed multiple phases: NiTi phase along with some Ti-rich, Ni-rich phases, oxides and carbides. The effect of TiH2 powder and binder on the pore characteristics and the resultant mechanical properties of feedstock C sintered parts are discussed.

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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Extensive MIM, CIM industry and sinter-based AM industry news, plus the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Calling all product designers: Discover what Metal Injection Moulding could do for you through these award-winning parts
  • Binder Jetting of a dual-phase steel: Process insight and optimisation using the Master Sintering Curve
  • The rise of filament-based metal AM: New materials and machines present opportunities for MIM producers
  • Sinter-based Additive Manufacturing at the 20th Plansee Seminar on Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
  • Ceramitec 2022: Opportunities abound for producers of technical ceramics by CIM and AM

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