What Is Metal Injection Molding?
Metal injection molding is a highly cost-effective net shape alternative for the production of geometrically complex, micro, miniature, and small-sized metal parts in ferrous and stainless steel alloys. It is a variation of traditional plastic injection molding and allows manufacturers to fabricate solid metal parts.
Here at Mardek, LLC we offer various manufacturing services with capabilities in metal injection molding. Our process allows us to produce highly detailed complex metal components more efficiently and economically than could be accomplished using traditional manufacturing methods. Our goal is to bring innovation to manufacturing, and we continue to push the limits of our capabilities to support customers’ needs.
The MIM Process
There are four key steps in the metal injection molding process. The first is feedstock, where thermoplastic, wax binders, and fine metal powders are compounded to create a pelletized feedstock. These ultra-dense pellets ensure manufacturers can reach close tolerances when it comes to small and complex parts.
The next steps in the process are:
- Feedstock is injected into the mold cavity after being heated
- The molded component that is created is identical to the finished piece, but is roughly 20% larger to allow for shrinkage
- Binders are removed to prepare for the final step
- The part is fragile and held together by a minimal amount of binder
- Sintering subjects the part to temperatures near the part material’s melting point
- Sintering offers parts their final strength and geometry
The Benefits of the MIM Process
- Cost-effective production of complex, high-volume parts
- Impeccable surface finishes
- Net-shape manufacturing with minimal waste
- Reduced production time compared with casting
- Superior mechanical properties of finished components
- Minimum secondary finishing operations required
- Tolerances as close as +/- 0.001
What Is Metal Injection Used For?
This process also frequently appears in the production of consumer goods. Small eyewear and electronic components are often manufactured using this process. It’s also used for medical and dental equipment, alongside other precision instrument components, to adhere to strict tolerances for the sake of human safety.
At Mardek, we understand how critical metal injection molding is to the creation of numerous important parts. That’s why we offer a variety of metal injection molding services. Some of these include facilitating projects with miniature to small complex net shapes, secondary machining, polishing, and plating. Our team has extensive experience, and our processes have been perfected through time and a commitment to excellence.
Learn More From Our Team of Metal Manufacturing Experts
Metal injection molding is a critical process in an array of industrial applications. It’s a cost-effective means of producing components with superior mechanical properties and excellent surface finishes. Your organization should strive to work with the right manufacturing company, so your metal injection-molded components retain their use and quality for many years.
We offer a number of value-added services, like die casting, metal stamping, and plastic manufacturing. No matter your industry or project size, our experienced staff is excited to discuss your upcoming project. Together, we’ll craft innovative solutions to drive your brand forward and increase profitability.
If you’re looking for that perfect partner, get in touch with the Mardek team today!