CERAMIC INJECTION MOULDING
The Dutch company of Formatec Ceramics BV is fully equipped for shaping technical ceramics by Ceramic Injection Moulding technology (CIM) which is their main production process.
Injection moulding ceramics begins with very fine ceramic powders which are compounded with polymer binders to a feedstock. During moulding, binder melts, plasticizes and carries the ceramic powder into the mould.
The next step is removing the binder thermally or chemically, a so called de-binding process which is followed by sintering. During sintering the ceramic particles fuse together and become a solid piece. The outcome is a full dense ceramic component. From now on the outstanding ceramic properties are achieved.
Accurate process control guarantees repeatable shrinkage (which is up to 30%) leading to tight tolerances which can be achieved nowadays.
Benefits of Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM)
• ability to shape complex geometries to the smallest detail in one process step which makes the technology highly cost effective
• smooth surface finish (no traces of machining such as milling)
• possibility of machining in the cost effective green phase
• today different types of alumina (aluminium oxide), zirconia (zirconium dioxide), silicon nitride, and in the future even cermet, are available
In order to achieve even more tight tolerances the ceramic piece could (partially) be grinded at Formatec. Machining techniques such as 5-axis grinding together with the required knowledge and required tooling are available and can be applied after sintering.