Comparisons of Four Major Processes

There is a place for each of the traditional metal-forming processes: each has its own strong suits as well as its limitations. But wherever a component fabrication choice exists between MIM(Metal Injection Molding) and one or more of the other processes, it pays to see how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison.

The following table shows how the four major processes fare in some of the more important parameters to consider.

MIM vs. Conventional PM

  • MIM can produce geometries that eliminate secondary operations
  • MIM offers superior density, corrosion performance, strength, ductility
  • MIM can combine two or more PM components into one, reducing part count
  • MIM parts offer superior magnetic performance

MIM vs. Machining

• MIM designs save material and weight
• MIM provides cost savings through better material utilization—sprues and runners can be reground and reused as feedstock with no compromise to final properties
• Molding from a single tool eliminates multiple set-up operations
• Difficult-to-machine materials can be molded into a net shape

MIM vs. Investment Casting

  • MIM can produce thinner wall sections, sharper cutting points
  • MIM produces better surface finish
  • MIM is better for small-diameter blind and through holes
  • MIM greatly reduces requirements for finish machining
  • MIM produces high volumes of small components at a lower cost, faster lead times