A process in which fine powdered material with high melting point (>1.000°C) is mixed with thermoplastic based binders to a moldable compound is called powder injection molding.
The powdered material comes preferred wise in globular shape and corn sizes of 15 µm – 20 µm. The binder is incapsulating the powdered corn.
Volumetric share: Binder more than 20 % / powdered material less than 80 %. This mixture or recipe is called Feedstock.
The PIM-process is a multiple stage process, whereas plastic injection molding is used as first manufacturing process.
The debinding 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/font>-/ 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.