Metal Injection Moulding - Uses for Supercritical Fluids

Use Supercritical Fluids in Metal Injection Moulding

Metal injection moulding, or MIM, is a manufacturing process which combines the versatility of plastic injection moulding with the strength and integrity of machined, pressed or otherwise manufactured small, complex, metal parts. The process involves combining fine metal powders with binders which allow the metal to be injected into a mould using standard plastic injection moulding machines.

After the part is moulded and before the binders are removed, the part is referred to as a 'green part'. The next step is to remove the primary binder. The resultant metal part, ‘brown part’, is sintered at temperatures great enough to bind the particles but not melt the metal and deforming the part. The products of metal injection moulding are up to 98% as dense as wrought metal and used in an increasingly broad range of applications. The advantage of metal injection moulded parts is that very complex parts that are difficult or even impossible to otherwise fabricate can be manufactured in large quantities.

Advantages of Debinding with Supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2 )

  • Faster debinding
  • Because SC-CO2, unlike a liquid, has no surface tension, it permeates deeper into the part and dissolves the primary binder quicker and more completely
  • Since the debinding is faster, larger parts can be economically fabricated
  • Environmentally friendly
  • No VOC emissions
  • No prohibition by the environmental treaties
  • No increase in greenhouse gases. The supercritical debinding uses existing CO2, no additional CO2 is created.

Traditional debinding methods such as thermal debinding, water solublisation, solvent solublisation and catalytic debinding are

  • environmentally unfriendly due to high VOC emissions
  • have excessively long debinding times.

Applied Separations have a proven commitment to advancing Supercritical Fluids technology and have worked with companies all over the world to incorporate supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) into their processes. Thanks to their world class R&D team, in-house engineers, and visionary approach, Applied Separations work hard to develop and enhance applications of this green technology in many unexpected industries.

Have an application in mind? Please contact iBiosys Solutions and, together with Applied Separations, we will work with you to develop a supercritical fluid application fit for your needs.