Powder Injection Molding is a process in which fine powdered material with high melting point (>1.000°C) is mixed with thermoplastic based binders to a moldable Compound. The powdered material comes preferred wise in globular shape and corn sizes of 15µm – 20µm. The binder is incapsulating the powdered corn.
Volumetric share: Binder >20% / powdered material <80%. This mixture or recipe is called Feedstock.
PIM-processes are multiple stage processes, whereas plastic injection molding is used as first manufacturing process.
The de-binding process is the second process step, where the binder material is removed.
Third step is the sintering process. With sintering, the remaining material is melted at the outer surface and creating a compact part with densities of 99,95% and higher against virgin compact material (e.g.: solid block of forged steel).
Mechanical and other material properties of final part are mostly comparable to full solid materials.
This process is preferred wise used in mid-/ high volume applications designed with average up to high complexity.
PIM is very cost competitive against standard multi stage cutting technologies like milling, drilling, grinding, etc…
Best practice examples for PIM-processes: Stainless steel watch-housings, ceramic grinders, power-wash nozzles, medical devices and many others.