High strength requirements fulfilled using MIM
MIM technology has given one of our partners a sensor housing in the same geometry as plastic, but with the same strength as steel.
Earlier, one of our partners produced one of their sensor housings in plastic, but more demanding requirements led to the company considering a solution in metal. There was a wish for greater strength because the sensor housing is primarily used for industrial purposes in environments that degrade plastic materials both thermally and chemically. With the technology behind MIM, Sintex is able to produce a sensor housing with the same geometry as plastic, but with the same strength as steel. At the same time, MIM enables the entire sensor housing to be produced as a single component – in a single process.
MIM was quickly identified as an alternative to plastic, but other metal machining processes were also looked at as mim did not immediately appear to be the most cost-effective solution. Sintex was involved as a competence centre and was able to optimise the design so that the costs of the mim process were offset by savings in the new design, subsequent processing and the additional advantages that a mim component offers.
As an example, it can be noted that the sensor housing was previously installed by means of a retaining plate produced by the traditional PM process. A redesign with a thread at the bottom of the sensor housing has made the retaining plate – and thus its assembly – redundant. This was of course possible due to the increase in strength thanks to the component being produced in steel.
The sensor housing is fitted into a flow pipe that is used to measure flow and pressure in pipe systems. The housing is used to protect and enclose the electronics for the measurements.