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In addition to 25+ pages of news from the metal and ceramic injection moulding industry, the 72 page March 2011 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International (Vol.5 No.1) includes the following articles and special features:
PIM in the Aerospace industry: Opportunities and challenges
After several decades of cautious interest in PIM, there now appears to be a growing level of enthusiasm for the technology from the commercial and military aerospace industries.
In an exclusive report for PIM International, Prof. Randall German explores the history of MIM and CIM in aerospace component fabrication, and outlines the challenges that are faced by producers to succeed in the market. A number of noteworthy aerospace components are presented.
Aerospace component fabrication using metal powder injection moulding (MIM) traces back to the late 1970s. This application area was one of the first to employ MIM. However, after a burst of early demonstration successes, the penetration of MIM into commercial and defence aerospace markets has been relatively slow. That may change soon as evidenced by increased research and development activities, increased awareness, improved quality systems, and a need for new application areas that differentiate from commodity MIM products.
Automation and a focus on value-added services helps Metal Injection Moulding thrive at OBE
Located in Ispringen, close to Stuttgart and the Northern area of Germany’s Black Forest, OBE is a manufacturer of high volume, precision metal parts. More than 100 years of machining experience has enabled the company to become the market leader in hinges and related components for the eyewear industry.
In 1996 the company diversified into MIM and has now combined its expertise in automation with its broad range of in-house finishing operations to set itself apart from many other MIM operations in Europe. Nick Williams reports on his recent visit.
Carpenter Powder Products: Stepping up the production of gas atomised powder for the MIM industry
Carpenter Powder Products (CPP), based in Rhode Island, USA, is one of the world’s largest and most diversified producers of pre-alloyed gas atomised metal powders.
In the following article, the company outlines its plans to increase its UltraFine® MIM powder producing capacity by around 75% by the end of 2011, positioning itself to meet the just-in-time needs of the MIM industry. The company also shares its view of the MIM industry’s regional development and major markets.
Investigations into water soluble binder systems for Powder Injection Moulding
Water soluble binder systems for metal and ceramic injection moulding offer several distinct benefits. Compared with thermal debinding, water solvent debinding is regarded as more environmentally friendly, with a faster debinding rate, simpler processing, and a wide range of feedstocks are available.
Delphine Auzène and colleagues from CRITT-MDTS, Charleville-Mézières, France, present a comparative study of some commercially available feedstock systems that can be processed using water solvent debinding.
A new approach to monitoring process temperatures during sintering
A new system developed by the Orton Ceramic Foundation, based in Westerville, Ohio, USA, offers PIM parts producers the chance to routinely record the performance of their sintering furnaces, including peak temperature and time at temperature.
Such a system has been designed to supplement the use of existing thermocouples and routine temperature surveys, but with the added benefit of providing batch-to-batch data records that can be logged for improved process monitoring.
Effect of a slight addition of Zr on the sintering behaviour of water-atomised 316L stainless steel powder
Hidefumi Nakamura, Hisataka Toyoshima, Hidenori Otsu, Akihiko Chiba, Koetsu Abe
The main objective of the present work is to evaluate the effects of Zr addition on various properties of SUS316L stainless steel powders produced by water-atomisation of liquid metals. It can be thought that an addition of Zr leads to an improvement in the sintering characteristics and mechanical properties by contributing to the refinement of the powder structure and Si oxide in addition to the inhibition of Si oxide formation on the powder surface.
Progress of Two-Component Micro Powder Injection Moulding (2C- MicroPIM)
Andreas Ruh, Volker Piotter, Klaus Plewa, Hans-Joachim Ritzhaupt-Kleissl, Jürgen Haußelt.
Two-component micro powder injection moulding (2C-MicroPIM) offers some very interesting opportunities to microsystem technology. It allows the combination of different features like hard – soft, magnetic – non-magnetic, electrically conductive – insulating as well as hard – tough by integrating different materials within one micro device. However, it is accompanied by complex challenges.
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