MIM vs Powder Metallurgy
The feedstock available for MIM is comprised of very fine metal powders (particles size usually ＜ 20 microns ), as compared with the ＞ 40 microns diameters tytical to conventional metal powders. Therefore, MIM can achieve higher density, always 95%-99% of theoretical density, but 80%-85% for conventional powder metallurgy. MIM is generally limited to parts with less than 400g in weight, and could achieve complex 3-D geometries, economically and physically. However, due to the limitation of strength of toolings, packing density, and uniaxially applied pressure, PM is limited to the parts with moderately complex cylindrical 2-D geometries.
MIM vs Die Casting
Die casting is only available for aluminum alloy, zinc alloy, and other metal with low melting point and good flowability. So it’s limited by material. And there are certain limitations in strength, wear-resistance and corrosion resistance. However, all of metal materials are available for MIM theoretically.
MIM vs Precistion Casting
In recent years, the accuracy and complexity of precision casting parts has become better, but still is inferior to sintering and metal injection molding. Precision casting is suitable for moderately complex and large parts.
MIM vs Machining
Conventional machining has improved its production efficiency using automation. But the processes are still complicated. The accuracy of machining is incomparable for other manufacturing processes; however its usage of material is low. And the shapes are limited by equipments, which results in that some parts cannot be achieved by machining. On the contrary, there is few wastage of material in MIM process. When used to make small parts with complex geometry, MIM is more effective, more economic, and more competitive than machining.
Metal injection molding is the supplement instead of the substitution of conventional manufacturing processes, which makes up well the weak of them.