The Metal Injection Molding process does not use metal only to be melted and forced into a mold. Instead the small rounded metal particles created by gas atomization are used to create a powdered metal that can be mixed with a thermal binding agent so that the substance, when heated, flows in a plastic-like manner into a mold. The powdered metal mixed with the plastic binder is known as the MIM “feedstock.” It is what is fed into the machine to produce the part. It is essential that the feedstock flows well enough to prevent voids in the final product. MIM uses materials that contain metal alloys, but the metal only is not used for melting in the process.  

MIM materials include:

  • Titanium Alloys
  •  Nickel Superalloys
  • Aluminum
  • Tungsten Alloys
  • Ferrous Alloys like Stainless Steel

These MIM materials are modified so that they can be used for the metal injection molding process, which is much more complicated than traditional die casting. The modifications allow the MIM process to produce a final part with similar properties as other manufacturing methods.

The MIM process combines two traditional manufacturing technologies: plastic injection molding and powdered metallurgy. However, MIM feedstock has much smaller particle sizes (<15 microns) compared with traditional powdered metal (>40+ microns).

What is the Ratio of Plastic Binder to Metal Powder? The feedstock is typically formed of 60% metal powder and 40% metal binder. The consistency of the feedstock is essential so that when the part shrinks in the final stages of the MIM process, that it does so uniformly.


Is the Plastic Binder In the Final Product? No. The thermal plastic binding agent is removed during the MIM process at a stage called “Debinding.” Debinding can be performed through many different ways, including catalytic process and heating. Once the binder is removed the part is then heated so that the particles fuse together, creating a high density part.  

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