In 2021, Solar Atmospheres of Western PA reported it was retrofitting a vacuum furnace for use in a new metal injection molding (MIM) and additive manufacturing (AM) binder-removal technology application. The goal was to build a vacuum sintering furnace with a hot zone and pumping technology that would minimize and target the deposit of detrimental binders evaporating out of MIM and AM parts. The furnace has been in production for over a month and produced multiple high-temperature sintering cycles with positive results.
The Höganäs high-alloy facility in North America expanded operations with the completed construction of its fine powder atomization building in Johnstown, Pa. The 24,000-square-foot facility extends production capabilities to produce cost-effective solutions within the additive-manufacturing (AM), metal injection molding (MIM) and surface-coating markets, which is part of the company’s long-term strategy to further grow its high-alloy business.
Centorr Vacuum Industries, to satisfy multiple orders, is currently building two furnaces designed for the metal 3D-printing and metal injection molding (MIM) industries. Sintervac AM is designed for debinding and sintering. It is outfitted with a graphite hot zone and operates in vacuum, partial pressure or positive pressure of forming gas. It also has a dual trapping system to handle the process off-gassing from binder-jet 3D-manufactured parts. MIM-Vac, which has multi-zone temperature control for improved processing uniformity, has the ability to handle virtually any metal feedstock.
An international metal injection molding (MIM) manufacturer ordered two vacuum furnaces capable of both debinding and sintering from Ipsen. With this latest order, the company’s partnership with Ipsen has resulted in a total purchase of 18 TITAN DS6 2-bar vacuum furnaces. While most MIM parts producers rely on lab-size furnaces for post-processing, this manufacturer requires a furnace that can handle demanding, large-volume applications. The furnaces supplied by Ipsen have a work-zone volume of 36 x 36 x 48 inches (915 x 915 x 1,220 mm), a load capacity of 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) and a right-sized filtration system.
Advanced Powder Products (APP) completed construction of a new 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Philipsburg, Pa. It will house a state-of-the-art quality laboratory, increased processing capabilities, automation development and a research-and-development center. APP plans on hiring skilled engineers, technicians and entry-level manufacturing support. The facility will support company growth by adding capacity. APP specializes in metallurgy, engineering, metal injection molding (MIM) and 3D metal printing to manufacture precision metal components for the medical device, industrial, automotive, aerospace and defense industries.
Whether a component is produced through binder-jet additive manufacturing, metal injection molding or conventional press and sintering, lubricant removal continues to be one of the most common issues in sintering.
This article will review areas where the auto industry is already leveraging 3D-printing technology and the role of metal powders and industrial gases in several AM processes that involve laser metal fusion and laser metal deposition.
Metal Powder Products LLC (MPP) acquired NetShape Technologies Inc., a manufacturer and solutions provider of engineered metal components using powdered metal and metal injection molding (MIM) technologies headquartered in Floyds Knobs, Ind. According to MPP, the acquisition creates a global leader in powdered-metal manufacturing and provides MPP with key strategic additions such as MIM capabilities.
In an effort to expand its capabilities and product offerings, Alpha Sintered Metals acquired Precision Compacted Components of Wilcox and St. Marys, Pa., and Precision Made Products of Brunswick, Ohio, in 2016.