AMT MIM - Metal Injection Molding

Metal Injection Molding

Metal injection molding (MIM) is a manufacturing solution that allows for production of intricate parts in medium to high volumes (10,000 to over 2,000,000 parts annually), using fine (<20 µm) metal powders. MIM is capable of transforming complex concepts and designs into the mass production for high precision and net-shape products.

MIM excels at applications that require shape complexity and superior properties such as high strength, excellent magnetic permeability, good creep resistance, corrosion resistance and thermal conductivity. AMT’s material portfolio includes a wide range of materials such as carbon steels, low alloy steels, stainless steels, low thermal expansion alloys, non-ferrous metals like tungsten and copper, super alloys like inconel, F75, MP35N and Nimonic 90.

Combining our MIM technology, material innovations and engineering expertise over the past 30 years, AMT is able to offer innovative solutions such as In-Coring®, bi-material integration, thin-wall capability, etc. Find out more about these innovative MIM applications here.

Although MIM technology is most ideally used for high-volume production, AMT has adapted to serve in high mix, low volume production. This is because of our focus to serve in the medical industry. MIM technology is ideal for mass producing components used in robotic surgical systems. These robotic surgical systems typically have end-effectors such as clamps, graspers, staplers, needle holders, etc, which are of very complex geometries and shapes.

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Step 1 – Mixing

Very fine metal or ceramic powder is mixed with a thermoplastic polymer (known as the binder) to form a homogeneous mixture of ingredients. The mixture or feedstock is made into granulated pellets and directly fed into the injection machine.

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Step 2 – Injection

During injection, the feedstock is heated and injected into the cavity of the mold. This allows the desired shapes and geometries to be formed. The molded part is known as the green part.

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Step 3 – Debinding

The polymeric binder is removed thermally via the debinding process. The green part is subjected to the debinding process at a high temperature while maintaining its relative size and shape. The brown part consists of a powder skeleton that is brittle and porous.

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Step 4 – Sintering

The final stage of the PIM process is sintering. During sintering, the brown part is heated to below its melting temperature. As sintering progresses, density increases, pores are eliminated and the part shrinks to achieve a dense and near-net shape component.

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