process for metal injection molding (MIM), is a marriage of
thermoplastic injection molding and conventional powder
metallurgy technologies.For small metal parts, MIM offers
the freedom to design complex shapes usually associated with
plastic injection molding or investment casting.
The MIM process, using multicavity tooling, is well suited for the production of geometrically complex parts in the mid- to high-volume range. MIM can reduce cost when compared with smaller investment castings and discrete machining, and to some extent, with conventional powder metallurgy when significant secondary machining or assembly of the P/M part is required.
Metal injection molding typically will not compete directly with drop-off screw machine components, stampings or die castings.However, assemblies made by combining a number of small parts can often be molded as an integral piece by MIM. The process is capable of forming complex configurations and has a degree of geometric freedom equivalent to that of injection molded plastics or castings.