PHILIPSBURG, PA JULY 28, 2020 – Applications that require small, complex metal components have been turning to powder metallurgy technologies like metal injection molding (MIM) to drive continuous improvement and innovation. Due to its design flexibility, MIM manufacturing continues to gain popularity among those requiring small, durable components, including automotive, medical device, aerospace, defense and firearms industries.
This was most recently demonstrated with the 2020 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards Competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF). Advanced Powder Products, Inc. (APP) won the Grand Prize in both the Aerospace/Defense and Medical/Dental for metal injection molding categories.
In the Aerospace/Defense category for metal injection molding components, APP won the grand prize for a redesigned Trigger Mechansism Housing to be used in a new 9-mm subcompact pistol for its customer, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. Originally configured using two pieces of metal and plastic, the award-winning component was made as a single metal injection molding part. Comprised of thin walls with thick sections and molded into a two-cavity mold, the Trigger Mechanism Housing was designed with unique fixtures for sintering to ensure it achieved net-shape. Some dimensions for the component are held to +/- 25 micrometers, eliminating the need for secondary machining operations. The part was tested by firing over 5,000 rounds without any observed failures.
Trigger Mechanism Housing Details:
● Material: S7 tool steel
● Density: 7.5 g/cm3
● Heat-treated Hardness: 35-45 HRC
● Finish: Black Oxide
Additionally, APP took home the Grand Prize in the Medical/Dental category for MIM components for its Guide Tube used in dental surgery. Unique component has extremely thin wall sections and an integrated impingement plate located on the inner diameter of the tube's tip. The guide tube's impingement plate features a Gaussian curvature the only MIM manufacturing can produce economically. To create the plate, APP engineering proprietary tooling utilizing three separate slides that move at an angle to seal on a small core pin. The tooling members must seal and align exactly on the Gaussian surface to prevent parting line flash, mismatch, or application failure. Finally, the guide tube is sintered, HIPed, heat-treated, and laser welded. The finished component was tested to stand up against a considerable amount of fluid flow and fatigue without resulting in any component fractures or surface erosion.
Dental Surgery Guide Tube Details:
● Material: MIM 17 –4-PH Stainless Steel
● Density: 7.75 g/cm3
● Heat-treated Hardness: 40-42 HRC
● Tolerances: +/-12.7 micrometers
MPIF has sponsored the PM Design Excellence competition since 1965. The competition invites powder metallurgy manufacturers to submit components that showcase the advantages and test the possibilities of the metal forming technologies. Fabricators may enter eight categories, including Aerospace/Military/Firearms, Automotive, Medical/Dental, and Hand Tool/Recreation. A panel of industry experts evaluates each component using a set of strict criteria. Grand Prizes and Awards of Distinction are presented in each category to those parts that prove superior.
ABOUT ADVANCED POWDER PRODUCTS, INC.
Founded in 2000, Advanced Powder Products, Inc. (APP) specializes in metal injection molding (MIM) and 3D metal printing for the firearms, medical, industrial and defense industries. The U.S. based company offers additional proprietary solutions, including ProtoMIM® and Printalloy®, that give the customer multiple options for precision, net-shape components. Today, the company delivers over 10 million components to the OEM market annually. For more information, visit www.advancedpowderproducts.com.