PIM International: Opportunities for MIM & CIM in the Aerospace sector

March 9, 2011

Cover_1After several decades of cautious and discreet interest in powder injection moulding, there now appears to be a growing level of enthusiasm for the technology from the commercial and military aerospace industries.

In an exclusive nine page report published in the March 2011 issue of Powder Injection Moulding International, Prof. Randall German, San Diego State University, USA, explores the history of MIM and CIM in aerospace component fabrication, and outlines the challenges that are faced by producers to succeed in the market.

The report, entitled “Powder Injection Moulding in the Aerospace Industry: Opportunities and challenges”, also covers materials, quality systems and mechanical properties. A number of noteworthy aerospace components are presented.

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Also in the 72 page March 2011 issue of PIM International

A 24 page industry news section, plus the following articles and technical papers….. 

Automation and a focus on value-added services helps Metal Injection Moulding thrive at OBE

Located in Ispringen, close to Stuttgart and the Northern area of Germany’s Black Forest, OBE is a manufacturer of high volume, precision metal parts. More than 100 years of machining experience has enabled the company to become the market leader in hinges and related components for the eyewear industry.

In 1996 the company diversified into MIM and has now combined its expertise in automation with its broad range of in-house finishing operations to set itself apart from many other MIM operations in Europe. Nick Williams reports on his recent visit.

Carpenter Powder Products: Stepping up the production of gas atomised powder for the MIM industry

Carpenter Powder Products (CPP) is one of the world’s largest and most diversified producers of pre-alloyed gas atomised metal powders. The company outlines its plans to increase its UltraFine® MIM powder producing capacity by around 75% by the end of 2011, positioning itself to meet the just-in-time needs of the MIM industry. The company also shares its view of the MIM industry’s regional development and major markets.  

Investigations into water soluble binder systems for Powder Injection Moulding

Water soluble binder systems for metal and ceramic injection moulding offer several distinct benefits. Compared with thermal debinding, water solvent debinding is regarded as more environmentally friendly, with a faster debinding rate, simpler processing, and a wide range of feedstocks are available.

Delphine Auzène and colleagues from CRITT-MDTS, Charleville-Mézières, France, present a comparative study of some commercially available feedstock systems that can be processed using water solvent debinding.

A new approach to monitoring process temperatures during sintering

A new system developed by the Orton Ceramic Foundation, based in Westerville, Ohio, USA, offers PIM parts producers the chance to routinely record the performance of their sintering furnaces, including peak temperature and time at temperature.

Such a system has been designed to supplement the use of existing thermocouples and routine temperature surveys, but with the added benefit of providing batch-to-batch data records that can be logged for improved process monitoring.

Effect of a slight addition of Zr on the sintering behaviour of water-atomised 316L stainless steel powder

Hidefumi Nakamura, Hisataka Toyoshima, Hidenori Otsu, Akihiko Chiba, Koetsu Abe

The main objective of the present work is to evaluate the effects of Zr addition on various properties of SUS316L stainless steel powders produced by water-atomisation of liquid metals. It can be thought that an addition of Zr leads to an improvement in the sintering characteristics and mechanical properties by contributing to the refinement of the powder structure and Si oxide in addition to the inhibition of Si oxide formation on the powder surface.

Progress of Two-Component Micro Powder Injection Moulding (2C- MicroPIM)

Andreas Ruh, Volker Piotter, Klaus Plewa, Hans-Joachim Ritzhaupt-Kleissl, Jürgen Haußelt

Two-component micro powder injection moulding (2C-MicroPIM) offers some very interesting opportunities to microsystem technology. It allows the combination of different features like hard – soft, magnetic – non-magnetic, electrically conductive – insulating as well as hard – tough by integrating different materials within one micro device. However, it is accompanied by complex challenges.

In the presented study the availability of 2C-MicroPIM for the production of fixed, as well as, movable shaft-to-collar connections will be discussed. In detail, the influence of the materials like ceramic powders and binder components, the design of the injection moulding tool and the adjustment of the process parameters are important steps, which have to be understood and optimised. With respect to this task significant progress compared to previous trials has been achieved.

The influences of these factors are presented as well as essential methods for improving 2C-MicroPIM for the production of movable and fixed connections.

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