Update on CIM and MIM components

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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.

Update on CIM and MIM componentsCeramic 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.

High-tech ceramic materials have a wide range of uses. Their extremely high wear-resistance and excellent anti-friction properties significantly increase the service life of components, such as axles, shafts and their friction partners. The module of elasticity and thermal coefficient of expansion are very similar to steel, so the combination of both materials provides excellent results. Components made of high-tech ceramic materials can also be used as insulators in electro-technology and electronics. Furthermore, the human body accepts implants made of zirconium oxide with almost no side-effects or allergies. The aesthetic aspect of these translucent materials is increasingly illustrated when they are used for natural-looking dental implants.

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.

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