This article from Maxon Motor gives a brief summary of what can be achieved using ceramic injection moulding (CIM) and metal injection moulding (MIM) of small, high-precision components.
Ceramic materials are gaining in importance wherever others are being pushed to their limits. The successful use of these innovative materials in medical and dental technology, space travel, as cutting tools and as components used in high-powered drive technology is an impressive illustration of their broad range of uses.
MIM technology enables solid, complex-shaped steel parts to be injection moulded using granulate materials (metal powder and plastic binder), which are compressed in a sintering furnace at approximately 1300degC. The resultant components are ready for use with minimal machining.
Complex components often have to be assembled from different parts and this is an intricate procedure. With CIM/MIM technology, the shape forming is predetermined just once using the injection mould. Tiny dimensions and filigree structures are unbeatable advantages. Undercutting, cross-holing, internal and external screw threads and gear teeth can be produced.
A wide range of materials covers all kinds of applications, including ceramic, stainless metallic or ferromagnetic materials; the range of material properties is very broad and is defined by customer requirements.