The last December number of PIM International magazine, includes a Case Study prepared by our technical director, Manuel Caballero.
In the article, Manuel Caballero reviews a conversion process in which a die-cast zinc hinge set is redesigned for production with MIM in 316L stainless steel, improving significantly mechanical properties.
Die casting is a widely used process for the production of metal parts, including, for example, hinges, which are components that do not have high strength or resistance requirements. However, when mechanical performance specifications are increased, a technology like Metal Injection Molding MIM) may be just right for manufacturing.
The Case Study details the customer’s specifications and why Metal Injection Molding production was considered the ideal technology. For MIM production, several adjustments and adaptation of the design had to be made. For example, the lack of visible injection points was a great challenge for the Ecrimesa engineering team, as well as lightening the weight of the part and reducing the cost of materials. Several iterations and tests were necessary before the final step in production. The article describes the steps and processes followed, the material used and the result obtained. With the new mechanical properties of the part and the improved aesthetics, the customer was able to bring the product to higher quality markets. Manuel emphasizes how continuous working with the customer has been decisive throughout the process. In the cooperation between Ecrimesa Group Technical Department and Projects with the customer, the necessary synergies were found to achieve the tarjets of both sides.
At Ecrimesa Group we have facilities for both Investment Casting and MIM, and our experience with different technologies was key to understand the limitations and advantages of each process during the design transition. We were able to take advantage of the synergies between the different technologies and thus accompany and support the customer throughout the entire redesign and manufacturing process, from conception to finish.
PIM International is the leading reference source for metal (MIM) and ceramic (CIM) injection molding, as well as the closely related sinter-based additive manufacturing processes. His editorial focus is on the industrial application of these technologies, from design and manufacturing to end-use applications.
MIM combines the versatility of injection with sintering technologies to produce pieces of high density with narrow geometric tolerances. Metal Injection Molding is a suitable technology for fabricating pieces of complex geometry of small to medium size in an ample range of materials, like stainless steels, steels of low alloys, soft magnetic, tooling steels and ceramics.
Ecrimesa Group was the first company worldwide to develop the process of fabrication in a continuous furnace with catalytic debinding, in collaboration with BASF and Cremer Thermoprozessanlagen GmbH.
We operate four continuous lines for debinding and sintering and two vacuum batch lines for sintering with a processing capacity of more than 200 tons of feedstock per year. This way, we can fabricate more than 1,2 million pieces every month.