Several stainless steel alloys are popular for metal injection molding. These materials are manufactured from blended stainless steels or pre-alloyed steels. Of all of the MIM stainless steels, 17-4 PH is the most popular.

MIM 17-4 PH is a low carbon stainless steel used for metal injection molding (MIM). MIM is a process that has made considerable advancements in the past 20 years. The process expands the possibilities of metals that can be used for small, complex parts. MIM combines a metal or alloy powder with a thermal binder so that the material flows when heated and can be injected into the mold cavity.

17-4 PH represents the metal’s precipitation hardening grade. Precipitation hardening is a heat treatment during which the stainless steel alloy is kept at high temperature for hours (this is known as “aging”) so that precipitation can occur within the metal. Precipitation creates particles inside the metal, which increases the yield strength of the material.

Precipitation hardening stainless steels have excellent mechanical properties, including high strength, high fatigue strength and great corrosion resistance. The stainless steel can also be heat treated to achieve custom properties and hardness.

MIM 17-4 PH is an alloy made of Carbon, Chromium, Copper, Manganese, Nickel and several other metals. It is used in a variety of industries for complex parts including aerospace, chemical, military/defense, and automotive. 17-4 PH has good resistance to atmospheric corrosion or salts, making it good for ship parts that must withstand prolonged exposure to saltwater. The steel is also magnetic.

Experiments show that 17-4 PH should be processed (sintered) in hydrogen gas in order for the end product to have properties most similar to wrought stainless steel products.

15 Industrial Uses for 17-4 PH Stainless Steel

17-4 PH in a metal powder form is used for MIM, but sheets, strips and round bars are used for many other industrial applications. Here are 15 heavy duty applications for 17-4 PH stainless steel parts:

1.    Offshore drilling

2.    Paper mills

3.    Oil & Gas Fields

4.    Airplane Turbines

5.    Biomedical Tools

6.    Food Processing Plants

7.    Nuclear Waste Processing

8.    Helicopter Deck Platforms

9.    Gate Valves

10. Chemical Processing

11. Nuclear Reactors

12. Gas Turbines

13. Petrochemical

14. Metalworking

15.Dental Equipment 

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