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Handbook of Metal Injection Molding. A volume in Woodhead Publishing Series in Metals and Surface Engineering. Book • 2nd Edition • Edited by.
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Handbook of Metal Injection Molding, Second Edition provides an authoritative guide to this important technology and its applications. Building upon the success of the first edition, this new edition includes the latest developments in the field and expands upon specific processing technologies.

Part one discusses the fundamentals of the metal injection molding process with chapters on topics such as component design, important powder characteristics, compound manufacture, tooling design, molding optimization, debinding, and sintering. Part two provides a detailed review of quality issues, including feedstock characterisation, modeling and simulation, methods to qualify a MIM process, common defects and carbon content control.

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Finally, part four explores metal injection molding of particular materials, and has been expanded to include super alloys and precious metals. These techniques are known. The proportion of the metal powder which is not formed by this iron-containing powder is any desired metal powder or metal powder mixture suitable for metal injection molding, and is chosen according to the desired final composition of the sintered shaped articles to be produced.

Preferably, this effective diameter is at least 50, particularly preferably at least 60, micrometers. In other words, the iron-containing powder has a d90 value of at least 40, preferably at least 50, particularly preferably at least A suitable d90 value is, for example, The metal powders used in the novel injection molding material are customary commercial products. The substantial object of the binder is to impart thermoplastic properties to the powder injection molding material, and an important criterion for the suitability of a certain thermoplastic as the binder is the possibility of removing it after the injection molding.

Various binders and methods for removing binders from powder injection moldings are known, for example thermal removal of binder by pyrolysis of the thermoplastic, removal of binder by the use of a solvent or catalytic removal of binder by catalytic decomposition of the thermoplastic. Any thermoplastic binder known for powder injection molding can be chosen as a thermoplastic binder for the novel powder injection molding material. Conveniently, a catalytically removable binder is used. Such binder systems are usually based on polyoxymethylene as the thermoplastic.

Polyoxymethylene depolymerizes under acid catalysis and can thus be removed from the injection molded parts rapidly and at comparatively low temperatures. Dispersants serve for preventing separation processes and are disclosed, for example, in the publications referred to above and in EP A1, which is likewise hereby incorporated by reference. Other assistants are usually added for influencing rheological properties of the powder injection molding material. Occasionally, carbon, generally in the form of graphite or in the form of pyrolyzable polymers, is also added in order to establish the carbon content of the sintered shaped article during sintering.

These measures are known, for example from the publications referred to above. The novel powder injection molding material is usually prepared by mixing its components.

The preparation is preferably effected by thorough mixing in the melt or at least in pasty form. All apparatuses in which pasty to liquid substances can be thoroughly mixed are suitable for this purpose, for example heatable kneaders. The novel powder injection molding material is produced in the form of particles which are suitable for feeding conventional injection molding machines, for example strands, extrudates, pellets or crushed kneaded material. The novel powder injection molding process is carried out in the same way as conventional powder injection molding processes.

For this purpose, the novel injection molding material i. The molding of the feedstock is effected in a conventional manner using customary injection molding machines. The moldings are freed from the thermoplastic binder in a conventional manner, for example by pyrolysis or by a solvent treatment. The binder is preferably removed catalytically from the preferred novel injection molding material comprising a binder based on polyoxymethylene, by subjecting the green compacts in a known manner to a heat treatment with an atmosphere containing a gaseous acid.

This atmosphere is prepared by vaporizing an acid with sufficient vapor pressure, or more conveniently by passing a carrier gas, in particular nitrogen, through a storage vessel containing an acid, advantageously nitric acid, and then passing the acid-containing gas into the binder removal oven.

The optimum acid concentration in the binder removal oven is dependent on the desired steel composition and on the dimensions of the workpiece and is determined in the individual case by routine experiments. After the shaping and subsequent removal of the binder, the molding is sintered in a sinter furnace to give the sintered shaped article. The sintering is effected by known methods.

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Depending on the desired result, for example, sintering is effected under air, hydrogen, nitrogen or a gas mixture or under reduced pressure. The composition of the furnace atmosphere which is optimal for sintering, the pressure and the optimum temperature range depend on the exact chemical composition of the steel used or to be prepared and are known or, in the individual case, can be readily determined on the basis of a few routine experiments. For economic reasons, a very high heating rate is generally desirable.

Handbook of Metal Injection Molding (eBook)

The duration of sintering, i. At conventional sintering temperatures and sizes of shaped articles, the duration of sintering is in general at least 15, preferably at least 30, minutes. The total duration of the sintering process substantially determines the production rate, and sintering is therefore preferably carried out so that, from the economic point of view, the sintering process does not take an unsatisfactorily long time. In general, the sintering process including heating phase but without cooling phase can be completed after at most 14 hours.

The sintering process is ended by cooling the sintered shaped articles. Depending on the composition of the steel, a certain cooling process may be required, for example very rapid cooling, in order to obtain high-temperature phases or to prevent separation of the components of the steel.

For economic reasons, it is also generally desirable to cool very rapidly in order to achieve high production rates.

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The upper limit of the cooling rate is reached if an economically unsatisfactorily large amount of sintered shaped articles having defects caused by excessively rapid cooling, such as cracking, breaking or deformation, occur. Accordingly, the optimum cooling rate is easily determined in a few routine experiments.

Some of these treatment steps, for example sinter hardening, nitriding or carbonitriding, can also be carried out in a known manner during the sintering. The granules were processed using a screw-type injection molding machine to give tensile test bars having a length of