Metal Injection Molding (MIM)
Also referred to as Powder Injection Molding
Some of the metals used to manufacture MIM parts range from low alloy steels and nickel alloys, to cobalt alloys and stainless steels. You can learn more on the metals used in the process by visiting our Materials used in Injection Moulding page.
We have experience in excuting this process to manufacture components for surgical instruments, electronics and a wide selection of consumer applications.
The Advantages of Metal Injection Moulding (MIM)
The MIM process is capable of offering a injection mold manufacturer a number of highly beneficial advantages.
Beneficial characteristics of the metal injection molding process:
- A wide range of alloys as well as pre-alloys can be molded using this process.
- It is a cost effective manufacturing process when it comes to producing a high volume of complex parts.
- When compared to investment casting, MIM has a faster production time. Tooling used in MIM is capable of molding parts in an estimated 10 seconds.
- Parts manufactured using this process require less finishing operations further down the production line.
- Net-shape parts and components are manufactured with minimal material waste reducing material costs.
MIM can deliver
- This process also allows for the processing of high temperature metals in regular molds, as the molding temperature is controlled by the type of binder used.
- MIM is a more cost-effective process than machining, stamping and investment casting.
- By using fine metal powders, parts produced using metal injection moulding are comparable, in terms of strength, to those manufactured from wrought metals through machining processes.
- With MIM, components that have complex features (such as cross-drilled holes, threads and fins) can be produced, in many cases without the need of secondary machining processes.
- This manufacturing process is also beneficial in terms of production costs for application specific, customized parts.
The Disadvantages of Metal Injection Molding (MIM)
As with all manufacturing processes, MIM also has its own set of disadvantages, including.
- The MIM process has multiple steps, which leads to a more expensive processing cost.
- The parts manufactured using this process are typically small. The larger the part to be produced, the fewer will be able to fit in the furnace. Smaller parts are more cost effective to produce, with dimensions between 10 mm and 15 mm being the most cost effective.
- A high initial cost can become a disadvantage when producing only a small number of parts.
- The material cost of the metal injection moulding process is also high – a bigger issue when producing larger parts.As the process makes use of extremely fine metal powders, it is a better suited to producing smaller parts. Note however that, in terms of material cost, this disadvantage can be countered by the fact that 100% of the material is used, as feedstock can, and is, recycled.