SSI Sintered Specialties, headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin, USA, and Tundra Technologies LLC, a material additives company based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA, have partnered to enable the high-volume production of large, complex components by Metal Injection Moulding (MIM). Beginning immediately, SSI will operate as the preferred production partner of parts made with Tundra’s Dynamik® materials platform, including metal composite feedstocks and powders.
By leveraging SSI’s metallurgical production expertise and Tundra’s successful track record in specialist binder systems, it was stated that customers can produce larger and more complex parts previously not considered economically or technically feasible for MIM.
“It takes a strong partnership between dedicated materials and engineering experts to solve the challenging obstacles that are present in the injection moulding space today,” stated Paul Hauck, Chief Operating Officer at SSI Sintered Specialties. “Partnering with Tundra, a company with a background in leveraging advanced technical insights to reinvent what’s possible advances our strategy to design and produce MIM components with properties and possibilities that the market has never seen before.”
With traditional MIM materials, explains SSI, the uncertainty of isotropic shrinkage significantly increases with larger parts, often creating high part variability, low dimensional stability and expensive material processing. These obstacles have kept most MIM components around the size of 25 g or less. Dynamik is reported to offer high particle concentration materials that can be processed on established equipment which enables large, complex part production in MIM – including parts weighing more than 100 g. Other beneficial material characteristics include:
- High dimensional stability, producing near-wrought properties and reduced part variability
- Average isotropic shrinkage of 6-8%, compared to traditional shrinkage of 16-20%
- Improved particle packing – up to 87% by volume – allowing for lower sintering temperatures and improved isotropic characteristics
- Competitively priced powders and feedstocks in multiple alloys.
“MIM has had a successful history in delivering very complex metal parts for demanding applications, but its scope has been limited to small parts,” Hauck added. “Our partnership with Tundra enables us to address a broader range of applications that were not economically possible with traditional MIM operations, expanding how our customers can leverage the technology for their applications.”
SSI’s growing Technology Center is said to offer the largest capacity of high-temperature sintering in North America, and continues to grow its investments in MIM technology through new talent and equipment. SSI recently announced the addition of an Elnik high-temperature refractory metal lined vacuum furnace and an Arburg automated moulding press to its fleet of MIM equipment, offering customers the metallurgical expertise needed to lead the development of non-traditional MIM applications.