PIM International, Vol. 5 No. 2 June 2011

 

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In addition to 25+ pages of news from the metal and ceramic injection moulding industry, the 72 page June 2011 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International (Vol.5 No.2) includes the following articles and special features:

 

MIM in Taiwan: Electronics sector continues to support rapid industry growth

In the following exclusive report for PIM International, Prof. Kuen-Shyang Hwang, from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at National Taiwan University, reviews the development and current status of MIM technology in Taiwan. In addition to commenting on markets, suppliers to the Taiwanese MIM industry, R&D and technology promotion, Prof. Hwang also profiles three leading part producers.

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Company Visit – FloMet: A North American MIM pioneer continues to expand the possibilities of MIM technology

FloMet has for more than twenty years been a leading member of North America’s MIM community. Its bright and spacious production facility in DeLand, Florida, has evolved over time into a state-of-the-art centre for MIM manufacturing. The company has continued to push the capabilities of the process and today manufactures a diverse range of innovative and complex MIM components. Nick Williams, Editor of Powder Injection Moulding International, reports on a recent visit.

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MIM2011 Conference Review: Industry remains confident as markets and regions continue to evolve

The MIM2011 International Conference on Injection Molding of Metals, Ceramics and Carbides took place in Orlando, Florida, from March 14-16. Organised by the Metal Injection Molding Association (MIMA), a trade association of North America’s Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), the event succeeded in attracting more than 130 international participants from industry and academia. PIM International’s Nick Williams reports on some event highlights.

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LÖMI, a leading manufacturer of solvent debinding furnaces, celebrates its 20th anniversary and doubles production capacity

Located in Aschaffenburg, close to Frankfurt in the centre of Germany, LÖMI is an innovative manufacturer of solvent debinding furnaces. In 2011 the company celebrates twenty years of experience in explosion-proof systems for handling flammable solvents. As PIM International discovers, the company has become, over a period of just over a decade, a market leader in solvent debinding furnaces for the PIM industry.

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Contribution to the development of 18 carat gold alloy shaped by MIM

Hubert Mulin, Philippe Jacquet, Michel Lambertin, Delphine Moinard-Checot, Jean-Claude Bihr

Metal Injection moulding (MIM) is an appropriate manufacturing process for small complex-shaped components with good surface finish. In comparison to parts manufactured by traditional processes, such as investment casting or forging, parts with better tolerances can be achieved. Hence MIM is a viable manufacturing method for the jewellery industry, which additionally desires strong aesthetic criteria (brightness, colour, surface finish, smooth appearance etc.). Nevertheless due to the specific properties of precious alloys, such as low temperature sintering, the MIM process for conventionally used materials (low alloys steels, stainless steels etc.) is not easily transposed to precious metals. This paper will focus on parts made of 18-carat gold alloy. The study, supported by an industrial partner, highlights the technical difficulties encountered at the sintering step and their consequences. In addition, post treatment effects (HIP) are investigated.

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Mixing titanium MIM feedstock: Homogeneity, debinding and handling strength

Paul Ewart, Seokyoung Ahn and Deliang Zhang

Although metal injection moulding (MIM) is increasingly being used to produce metal parts with complex geometries, less than1% of the market utilises titanium powders. As a low energy method for producing parts of complex geometry, MIM is a suitable process for reducing the cost of producing titanium and titanium alloys. It is accepted that the final quality of MIM parts is a function of the moulding, debinding and sintering processes. If the green part has defects they will exacerbate during subsequent debinding and sintering due to in-homogeneity of binder components and non-uniformity in particle distribution. Although this is understood there is little available data quantifiably supporting this. In our study, a co-rotating twin-screw extruder is used for batch mixing titanium fine powder with a polyethylene based binder to form a feedstock enabling investigation of limits to homogeneity and to determine how this affects particle adhesion and the strength of green parts.

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3D visualisation of flow patterns in injection moulded ceramic green parts

Anne Mannschatz, Matthias Ahlhelm, Tassilo Moritz, Alexander Michaelis

Mould filling behaviour affects the green structure of an injection moulded part, since defects can be caused by flow patterns. These defects might be pores, or weak spots such as weld lines. These risks can be minimised by optimising the tool design aiming for a desired flow pattern. Hence, understanding the formation process of specific flow patterns is very important and necessary to characterise. In this paper, a method for visualising flow lines within injection moulded green parts is presented. By introducing an X-ray detectable tracer material, a three dimensional image is produced revealing the flow patterns. Four case studies demonstrate the potential of this method.

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