814-342-5898
Request A Quote Log In

F.A.Q.

What alloys can APP Metal Injection Mold?

Primarily steels and stainless steels, however, copper, heavy alloys, tool steels, and even titanium are possible

What is the difference between conventional MIM and protoMIM?

Conventional MIM requires a higher cost and longer lead-time tool. ProtoMIM is the quickest most economical method to get real MIM parts.

Can APP metal injection mold aluminum?

Aluminum has been metal injection molded, however, it has never been significantly commercialized.

Why would I want to use protoMIM?

ProtoMIM is best used when you are not 100% sure on your design and also when you need to be first to market with a new product launch.

What are the challenges with MIM of titanium?

Titanium is extremely reactive and can pick-up oxygen and carbon during MIM if the proper precautions are not used.

Can APP manufacture threaded components?

Yes, APP can manufacture both internal and external threads on MIM components. The threads can either be done as a secondary or incorporated into the tool. The use of as-molded threads will depend upon the volume of components to be manufactured and the tolerance requirements of the threads.

What is the typical size for a metal injection molded component?

MIM components are typically 10-20 grams, but can be as small as a few milligrams or as large as 250 grams. MIM components typically fit in your hand.

What feature does APP look for to make the MIM process the most successful?

APP likes to have a flat surface to set the part for sintering. When a flat surface is available the client avoids extra sintering fixture expenses. APP does manufacture many MIM parts that do not have a flat surface. In this case, APP builds some form of ceramic support to limit distortion during sintering.

What is a typical wall thickness for MIM components?

MIM components typically have a wall thickness of 0.050” to 0.400”. Wall thickness less than 0.010” and larger than 0.600” should be avoided.

Can APP MIM components be welded?

Yes, APP parts have a good density and microstructure which makes them ideal for sintering.

Can MIM components be heat treated to the same level as wrought product?

Yes, MIM components can be heat treated to similar hardnesses as wrought materials; however, MIM components can have porosity which could show hardness readings less than true levels. In this case, micro hardness measurements should be used.

Does APP do custom alloy development?

Yes, APP has developed over 300 different alloy mixtures over its 15 year life. Only about 30 of these alloys are in production, but we have developed different alloy systems for many different applications.

Can MIM components be electroplated the same as conventional metals and alloys?

Yes, MIM components can be plated the same as other metal processes. The concern with plating is that the MIM material must have a density of at least 94% density to eliminate any porosity that can trap plating solutions that will later cause undesirable corrosion response.

Why is APP unique in the MIM industry?

APP can develop and manufacture components more quickly than any other MIM company. Further, APP prides itself on its alloy fabrication capabilities.

Are there any MIM alloys that are implantable?

Yes, MIM titanium alloys and ASTM F2886 (Co-Cr) alloys are known to be implantable. If wrought stainless steel is used in implantable applications, 316L stainless steel can be used in implantable applications.

Can APP metal injection molded parts be overmolded with plastics?

Yes, APP has multiple components that are in production for over molding. The key to overmolding MIM components is to limit parting lines in the area that the overmolding tool will shut off.

Are the properties of MIM materials the same as wrought properties?

MIM properties are typically slightly inferior to wrought properties, but show superiority to most cast alloy properties. MIM properties are typically 90-95% of wrought. Properties can be made equivalent or in some cases superior to wrought properties if the parts are hot isostatic pressed.

Can APP utilize the same tool for multiple alloys?

Yes, APP does manufacture components from multiple alloys in the same tool. This is highly successful for prototyping to define the proper alloy for an application. This is done with production tools too, but the tool may require special inserts in critical dimension areas.

Why are 316L stainless steel and MP35N alloys softer than wrought alloys of the same stoichiometry?

316L and MP35N alloys are strengthened by work hardening. When these alloys are processed using conventional methods, they are machined or worked, and this causes them to strengthen. MIMed 316L and MP35N are solution annealed after sintering, thus they are softer than their wrought counterparts.

How much shrinkage does APP material have during processing?

APP tooling shrink ranges from 1.17 to 1.25. This depends upon the alloy and the starting raw material.

Does APP offer secondary processing to their MIM components?

Yes, APP not only metal injection molds components, we also machine, heat treat, and surface coat according to our clients requirements.

Can APP utilize tooling from other MIM facilities?

Yes, APP is unique in that we manufacture our own MIM feedstock and have the ability to process Catamold tools.


Questions?

Call Us! 814-342-5898