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Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of Comparative Process Capabilities of Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding for Precision Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Aminul Islam

Centre for Acoustic Mechanical Micro Systems,
Technical University of Denmark,
Ørsteds Plads, Building 352, Room 018,
Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
e-mail: mais@mek.dtu.dk

Nikolaos Giannekas

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Technical University of Denmark,
Produktionstorvet, Building 427, Room 322,
Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
e-mail: nikgia@mek.dtu.dk

David Marhöfer

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Technical University of Denmark,
Produktionstorvet, Building 427, Room 314,
Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
e-mail: maxmar@mek.dtu.dk

Guido Tosello

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Technical University of Denmark,
Produktionstorvet, Building 427, Room 323B,
Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
e-mail: guto@mek.dtu.dk

Hans Hansen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Technical University of Denmark,
Produktionstorvet, Building 427, Room 321A,
Kongens Lyngby 2800, Denmark
e-mail: hnha@mek.dtu.dk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received January 6, 2016; final manuscript received May 25, 2016; published online July 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Martin Jun.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 4(3), 031003 (Jul 01, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JMNM-16-1003; doi: 10.1115/1.4033820 History: Received January 06, 2016; Revised May 25, 2016

The purpose of this paper is to make a comparative study on the process capabilities of the two branches of the powder injection molding (PIM) process—metal injection molding (MIM) and ceramic injection molding (CIM), for high-end precision applications. The state-of-the-art literature does not make a clear comparative picture of the process capabilities of MIM and CIM. The current paper systematically characterizes the MIM and CIM processes and presents the process capabilities in terms of part shrinkage, surface replication, tolerance capability, and morphological fidelity. The results and discussion presented in the paper will be useful for thorough understanding of the MIM and CIM processes and to select the right material and process for the right application or even to combine metal and ceramic materials by molding to produce metal–ceramic hybrid components.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Catamold 316L-A raw material for metal molding (left) and Catamold TZA-P raw material for ceramic molding (right)

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Fig. 2

(a) Comparative flow properties of standard grade of Catamold 316L and Catamold TZP (edited from Refs. [14] and [15]). (b) pvT diagram for Catamold TZP (edited from Ref. [15]). (c) pvT diagram for standard grade Catamold 316L (edited from Ref. [14]).

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Fig. 3

Geometry of the test part (left), molding machine used for the experiment (middle), and molded test parts (right)

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Fig. 4

Comparative shrinkage of MIM and CIM parts in diameter and thickness: (a) mean disk diameter comparison, (b) diameter shrinkage from mold dimension, and (c) shrinkage of sintered MIM and CIM parts compared with green parts

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Fig. 5

Comparative weight reduction of MIM and CIM parts before and after sintering

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Fig. 6

Roughness measurement taken in the middle of mold insert, ceramic parts and metal parts (scan area 1.25 mm × 0.225 mm)

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Fig. 7

Comparative results of roughness measurements on mold, metal, and ceramic part surfaces. (a) Mean Sa roughness comparison, (b) mean Sq roughness comparison, (c) mean Sz roughness comparison, (d) roughness reduction in % from green values, and (e) roughness reduction in % from mold values.

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Fig. 8

The influence of the moisture on the mean diameter of metallic and ceramic green parts (a) and the influence of the moisture on the mean flatness of metallic and ceramic green parts (b)

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Fig. 9

Pictures from the porosity analysis of MIM and CIM parts with optical instruments and spip 6.1.1 image processing software. Pictures shows relatively higher amount of porosities in all sections of metal parts (pictures were taken in three different locations of sintered parts based on the distance from the molding gates).

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