The MIM process
The MIM process involves very few steps.
- Step 1: Mixing the feedstock
- Step 2: Moulding
- Step 3: Debinding
- Step 4: Sintering
We do not mix the feedstock ourselves at Sintex. We purchase the finished granulate from a supplier. These typically comprise around 60% powder and 40% binder.
In step 2 of the process, the metal powder is heated so it can be injection moulded. In the MIM process, the injection moulded component is called a 'green part'.
The green part is liquated in a furnace to remove the binder. The workpiece is then referred to as a 'brown part', and is extremely fragile.
At Sintex, the process is automated and optimised for high volume.
Components are sintered in a controlled atmosphere in high-technology furnaces at temperatures just below the melting point of the given material.
During this stage, the workpiece shrinks by 16-22% in size, which means control of the process must be very finely tuned.
Sintex has two process lines, where all steps from injection moulding to the finished workpiece are fully automated. This allows us to meet the strict quality requirements, and ensure efficient handling of the high volumes.
See the film about the MIM process above.