Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is used by many industries—such as medical device, telecommunications, consumer products, and automotive parts manufacturers—and is a viable and cost-effective alternative to other types of metal processes, such as machining and casting. The MIM process is particularly well suited for the high-volume manufacture of relatively small, complex components requiring high strength, high performance and cost efficiency for parts up to 1 pound or 450 grams.
MIM technology combines plastic injection molding with the material flexibility of powder metallurgy. Taking advantage of unique process capabilities, it allows the combining of two or more components into one complex geometry or co-molding and bonding dissimilar materials. Combining fine metal powders with a “binder” system, components are injection molded, de-bound and sintered, resulting in high-density, complex, precisely-shaped parts exhibiting properties approaching that of wrought material.
MIM is also gaining momentum as the cost of raw materials continue to skyrocket since it creates little or no waste material. Companies are seeking methods to limit material waste, especially with expensive materials such as titanium, kovar, and stainless steel.