As of April 1st 2010, the metal injection moulding (MIM) activities that were formerly conducted by Philips Lighting will be carried out by Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), unit Engineering & Services. The production facilities are located in Goirle, close to the ECN offices in Eindhoven.
It is stated that these activities will bring valuable information about metal injection molding to ECN and the technology will also become available for new applications and developments. ECN Engineering and Services is thus equipped with extensive knowledge and craftsmanship in the field of the injection moulding of high quality materials for complex components.
The injection moulding process makes it possible to industrially produce complex shaped metal components in large and small series. Of particular interest for ECN are heat resistant MIM components for nuclear fusion and fission reactors, or for gas turbines that require a high operating temperature.
ECN Eindhoven will supply these components directly to ITER main contractors, to ECN-NRG and the EFDA programmes (European Fusion Development Agreement).
“We are very pleased that the knowledge and expertise in the field of refractory metals and injection moulding will be preserved and further applied and expanded thanks to this initiative. We foresee a bright future for this technology, which will be used for the production of high quality components”, says Jan Opschoor, Production Technologist at ECN. “The market is already responding positively to this knowledge development.”
ECN has a track record in transferring knowledge in the field of powder metallurgical production technology. Initial powder injection moulding developments were conducted by the National Ceramics Atelier for Kruithoorn, which was later taken over by ITB Precisietechniek in Boxtel. An injection moulding technique for ceramics developed by ECN led to the establishment of Formatec in Goirle, which developed as a ceramics injection moulding company from Pekago.
ECN is the first Dutch company that can start producing these new type of heat resistant metals.
The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is a leading institute in the Netherlands for energy and environmental research and policy advice. ECN focuses its activities on the needs of the energy industry and governments in their objectives and contributes to a sustainable development of a reliable, environmentally sound and cost-effective energy industry. ECN introduces this knowledge and technology to the market. www.ecn.nl
Jan Opschoor, ECN unit Engineering & Services
Tel: +31 224-564661,
Email: [email protected]