This lock parts is not very big and shape complex. Metal injection molding (MIM) is a metalworking process in which finely-powdered metal is mixed with binder material to create a "feedstock" that is then shaped and solidified using injection molding.
The molding process allows high volume, complex parts to be shaped in a single step. After molding, the part undergoes conditioning operations to remove the binder (debinding) and densify the powders.Finished products are small components used in many industries and applications.
The process steps involve combining metal powders with polymers such as wax and polypropylenebinders to produce the "feedstock" mix that is injected as a liquid into a mold using plastic injection molding machines.
The molded or "green part" is cooled and ejected from the mold. Next, a portion of the binder material is removed using solvent, thermal furnaces, catalytic process, or a combination of methods.
The resulting, fragile and porous (40 volume percent "air") part, is in a condition called the "brown" stage. To improve handling often the debinding and sintering are combined into a single process.
Sintering heats the powder to temperatures near the melting point in a protective atmosphere furnace to densify the particles using capillary forces in a process called sintering.
Application: economic advantage in metal injection molded parts lies in complexity and volume for small-size parts. MIM materials are comparable to metal formed by competing methods, and final products are used in a broad range of industrial, commercial, medical, dental, firearms, aerospace, and automotive applications.
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