Metal injection molding (MIM) is a metalworking process in which finely-powdered metal is mixed with a binder material to create a “feedstock”. This feedstock 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 desired part undergoes conditioning operations to remove the binders. Finished products made by this process mainly are small components used in many industries and associated applications.
The behavior of metal injection molding feedstock is majorly governed by rheology, the study of sludges, suspensions, and other non-Newtonian fluids. Metal injection molding gained recognition throughout the 1990s as improvements to subsequent conditioning processes resulted in an end product that performs similarly to or better than those made through competing processes. Metal injection molding technology improved cost efficiency in those times, and hence was continued as a highly lucrative practice to produce desired components. Such efficiency also led to high volume production of the parts manufactured.
Metal injection molding feedstock can be composed of a plethora of metals. However, stainless steel is most commonly used in this process. After the initial molding, the feedstock binder is removed, and the metal particles are diffusion bonded and to achieve the desired strength properties.
A process of metal working where metal in a form of fine powder is mixed with binder material to product a feedstock, which is then solidified and shaped with the usage of injection molding is known as metal injection molding. Complex parts and high volume is shaped in just a single step with the help of molding process. In an attempt to eliminate binder and to make the powder dense, the parts go through conditioning operations after the process of molding. The final products after metal injection molding process are tiny components that are used in several applications and industries. The metal injection molding market is showing tremendous growth particularly in Asia. Its associated technology is ceramic powder injection molding and it is the leading market across the globe.
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Metal Injection Molding- Drivers
Rising demand for miniaturized composite elements that are used as a high performance materials in several end-use industries is one of the most significant factors, which is driving the growth of metal injection molding market during the projected period. Moreover, rising demand for various medical equipment is also responsible in fueling the demand for metal injection molding. These metal injection molding are used in manufacturing of medical micro-parts to be utilized in several medical techniques and procedures. Few vascular therapies and some other medical procedures such as intravenous therapy, invasive surgery and advanced drug delivery require accurate equipment which are manufactured by using the method of state of the art. Specialized manufacturing methods are required to give intricate shape to medical devices. Metal injection molding have the ability to give such shapes, which is supporting the growth of mental injection molding market.
Metal Injection Molding- Regional Outlook
At a global level, Asia-Pacific region is presently dominating the metal injection molding market. The market for metal injection molding has a remarkable presence in automotive industry where manufacturers of machine and machine component grab dominant market share. Asia Pacific region has a good presence of automotive industry and that’s the reason the market for metal injection molding is flourishing in Asia Pacific region. The market for metal injection molding in North America region is dominated by the application such as healthcare and medical. Therefore it is anticipated that the regional metal injection molding market differs on wider spectrum owing to differences in technology along with the disparity in the growth of end-use industries in respective regions.
Metal Injection Molding- Key Players
CMG Technologies in UK, Indo-MIM in India, Dean Group International in US, Dynacast International in US, Phillips-Medisize in US, NetShape Technologies in US, ARC Group Worldwide in US, and Smith Metal Products in US are some of the key players that are functioning in the metal injection molding market.
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