Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM)
Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM) was first applied to manufacture the bodies of spark plugs in the 1920s.
However, technology advancement for CIM was slow. It took 60 years before ceramic heat engine components
were successfully shaped using the CIM technique in Japan and Europe.
Today, CIM technique has been regarded as a preferred net-shaped manufacturing method for making many
precision engineering and electrical ceramic components.
The CIM process route is identical to MIM. It involves mixing of the selected ceramic powder with binders to form the
feedstock, which is then moulded in a die cavity to form the required component shape.
These shapes undergo a debinding process where binders are removed by using either thermal evaporation or solvent washing. The parts are then consolidated in a sintering furnace at temperatures up to 1,7000C, under either oxidising or reducing atmospheres.
With the increase in market demand and customer needs, the range of material that is available in DYT grows steadily in numbers. Among them are high purity oxide and carbides, such as Alumina and Zirconia, and WC and SiC as well as toughened Alumina and stabilized Zirconia. (See Table I for properties of sintered materials.)
The applications of CIM process are virtually boundless. As ceramic possesses high flexural strength, hardness and chemical inertness, it yields products that are of highly corrosion resistant, wear resistant and long life span. Ceramic products are used in electronic assembly, tools, optical, dental telecommunications, instrumentation, chemical plants and textile industries.
CIM technology is most advantageous especially when conventional machining methods are too expensive or incapable to perform. It is ideal for parts that are of a complex shape and where high throughput rate and
consistent quality are crucial.
Using sub-micron ceramic powder, CIM-produced products have high surface finish, very fine grain structures, close to theoretical densities.