History of the technology
The PIM process was at first developed in the 1930s in the USA. This process was originally intended for ceramics.
Then, during the Second World War, metal powders appeared. The process of Metal Injection Moulding was developed by Dr. Raymond E. Wich Jr. during the 1970s and became then an industrial process.
Afterward, the MIM process spread in Japan and finally in Europe. (M. Martin, 1999)
The context of its invention
In the 1940s, conventional powder metallurgy was developped in Germany before the Second World War. Later, in Sweden, the company Högänas developed pure iron powder that could be pressed and sintered to small mechanical components. But this material contained pores at this time.
After the war, various alloys were used as powder metal which enhances the properties of the final part.
In parallel, the "atomize" technique was developed : a jet of metal was crushed into a mold. But this technique results in part still with pores. Moreover, it cannot be used for high-alloy metal.
In the 1950s, the automotive industry used a lot of powder metal, especially the US market, followed by Europe and Japan. In parallel, the atomization with pure gases (argon, helium or notrogen) was developed.
In the 1960s, a new process, using gas under pressure that presses the metal powder into a mold, was enhanced. It is the Hot Isostatic Pressing process (HIP).
In the 1980s, the MIM process was invented and developed in California. Small components were made thanks to the MIM process while large components were made with the HIP process. (Metec, 2013)
In America, 330 industrial companies produce components made from
References: H.H. Angermann, O.O. Van Der Biest, Low temperature debinding kinetics of two- component model system, Intern J. Powder Metal, Vol. 29,3, 1993, pp.250-293 T Y. Bienvenu, Conférence sur la métallurgie des poudres, Besançon, ENSMM, 2007 M R.M. German, Research productivity and the Value to the PIM market, DIM 2000, Int. Conference on Injection Molding of Metals and Ceramics, Ed. by German, Penn States University Press, 2000 R.M R.M. German, A. Bose, Injection Molding of Metals and Ceramics, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 1997 D.F D. Kopeliovich, Metal Injection Molding, 2012, http://www.substech.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=metal_injection_molding H.K M. Martin, Materials World, Vol.7, No. 2, February 1999, pp.71-75 Metec, 2013, http://22.214.171.124/metec/powder-metallurgy/ Semester 2, 2010, SGM Bordeaux-1, Métallurgie des Poudres, Lecture Notes H