Metal Injection Molding industry has grown tremendously over the past decade, due to huge demand from the consumer electronics sector. The technological developments made by the major companies in the powder injection molding market are contributing to the growth of the market. Germany based BASF SE, the market leader in feedstock for Metal Injection Molding, announced its next-generation MIM feedstock system called “catamold evo”. This system, improves the flow ability of the feedstock, thereby allowing for more complex and challenging shapes to be molded. The new evo line is the improved version of the company’s Catamold feedstock system. This allows customers in various industries to improve their production efficiency in extended application fields. The target applications for the new feedstock system include connectors for consumer electronics, smartphone frames and bodies and SIM card trays. In the automotive industry target applications were identified as rocker arms, levers and gear shift fingers.
Metal Injection Molding is being increasingly used in the smartphone sector as a production-efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional machining processes. Arburg demonstrated a hydraulic all-rounder 470 S to show how smartphone housings can be produced in a cost-efficient manner using powder injection molding . A hydraulic All-rounder 470 S will use the Metal Injection Molding process to produce a green compact for a smartphone back cover in a cycle time of around one minute. The changeable mold can also alternatively be used to mold the frame. This innovative application for Metal Injection Molding has been implemented jointly with BASF. A hydraulic All-rounder 470 S with a clamping force of 1,100 kens will be used to produce back housings using BASF’s Catamold 17-4 PH Plus feedstock. In addition to the back housing, the changeable hot-runner mold featuring liquid temperature control is also designed to produce a closed or four-part frame for smartphone housings.
Arburg established a joint venture with BASF for an innovative PIM application that enables significant cost savings in comparison with conventional machining processes.
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