Metal Injection Moulding (MIM)


Metal injection moulding, or MIM, is a process used to produce high volumes of relatively small items.

The process uses compressed metal powder that is “sintered” to produce parts of high accuracy and integrity which often need no post-machining. This technique is used with a variety of metals, stainless steel and carbon steel alloys.
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The process of MIM was first developed in the 1970s by Raymond Wiech in the US, but it has only been used commercially in the last twenty years. A completely different manufacturing process to die-casting and similar to the moulding process used for plastic parts, MIM compresses fine metal powder particles under high pressure in steel tooling to create the component shape. The “green” parts are then passed through a furnace under a controlled atmosphere to produce the finished part. The accuracy of the process generally negates the need for post-machining.

A two part steel tool is cut directly from the 3D CAD data
Metal powder injected into the tool
Powder is compressed under hydraulic pressure
“Green” part is “sintered”
Heat treatment and other post processes as required
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For sectors or industries in need of high-volume small parts, Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) is ideal, being cost-effective and producing intricate, complex parts with a great level of accuracy.

Dependant on shape, another benefit of metal injection moulding is that it’s able to replace a set or assembly of two or more parts with a single MIM part, cutting the cost of producing different parts, assembling and machining them.

What’s more, the process can be used for almost all types of materials, including metals, intermetallic compounds and composites. Alloy steels, stainless steels and heat-resistant materials are the most common choices of material for this process.
Production of complex and intricate shapes
Low piece price for high-volume production
Excellent dimensional accuracy
Exceptional surface finish
Machining generally eliminated
Consistency and repeatability
High part integrity
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