About PIM

Powder injection molding (PIM) is a means for discrete component production. Like powder metallurgy and ceramic component fabrication, PIM relies on shaping particles using thermoplastic polymer additives and subsequently sintering those particles. The final product is nearly full density, so the properties are competitive if not superior to that possible using traditional casting, forging, and metal cutting approaches. Injection molding enables shape complexity with opposing curved or intersecting surfaces, high production quantities, and lower cost versus machining operations, especially for larger production quantities.

The successes for PIM lie in the combined attributes that include:

         • overcoming the property limitations inherent to plastics

         • expanding shape capabilities beyond stamping, forging, and fine blanking

         • exceeding the property and shape range limitations inherent in powder compaction

         • providing a lower cost when compared with machining

         • providing productivity levels not attainable with isostatic pressing and slip casting

         • avoiding the defects, surface finish limits, and tolerance limits associated with casting.

In short, the best places to apply PIM are where plastic molding would be capable of generating the shape, but plastics lack the mechanical, thermal, or other properties that come from metals and ceramics.