A powder injection molding (PIM) process in which fine-powdered ceramic is mixed with a thermoplastic binder material to a moldable compound is called ceramic injection molding (CIM). This compound builds the so called feedstock. This feedstock can be processed with plastic injection molding. The plastic injection molding process allows competitive manufacturing of mid to high volumes and complexity in repeatable quality.
The molded part is debindered in a second process step. The thermoplastic binder material is removed from the compound.
In a third process step, the debindered part is sintered.
Densities of 99,95% and higher can be obtained against compact material. Material and mechanical properties of final parts are comparable to the corresponding compact materials.
CIM is very cost competitive against standard multi stage cutting technologies like milling, drilling and grinding.
Best practice examples for CIM-processes: Ceramic grinders, textile industry, medical applications and many others.