A number of Taiwanese Metal Injection Moulded notebook and IT component suppliers have begun taking advantage of the opportunities provided for MIM producers in the electric vehicle industry, according to a report by Taiwan-based newspaper Digitimes.
A key opportunity for MIM producers in the electric vehicle market is the manufacture of Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) cold plates by MIM. These devices are typically used in high-end liquid cooling systems, particularly those with limited thermal dissipation space, such as Electric Vehicle/Hybrid Electric Vehicle power modules.
These systems generally have a compact structure with little thermal dissipation space and thus have difficulties dissipating heat generated. MIM technology can be used to achieve a complex geometric design that provides both high thermal performance and low pressure drop, and also enables the production of thin-walled metal components for better heat dissipation.
MIM faces some competition from forging in this arena, with Jentech, Taoyuan, Taiwan, reporting the certification of its forged IGBT power modules in the first quarter. However, MIM offers significant advantages over forging for the production of small, complex electrical parts, the demand for which is expected to grow with the rise in electric vehicle manufacture.
Tesla has reportedly been working with Taiwan’s electronics manufacturers for products such as motherboards. According to Digitimes, Taipei-based Pegatron Technology is rumoured to have landed central computer motherboard orders from Tesla for its Tesla Model 3, but Pegatron declined to comment on its clients or orders.
The Summer 2017 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International magazine (Vol. 11 No.2), reviews the development of MIM IGBT power modules as part of the report: ‘APMA 2017: MIM strengthens its competitiveness with novel technologies and new applications’. The article can be read for free in the digital edition of PIM International.