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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2007
TECHNICAL FEATURE www.metals.rala.com.au REFERENCES:  German, R.M., and Boss, A., Injection Molding of Metals and Ceramics, Metal Powder Industries Federation, US, 1997  www.egideuk.com  German, R.M., Powder Injection Molding - Design and Applications, Innovative Materials Solutions, Inc. US, 2003.  www.cadinfo.net/editorial/pti.htm  www.metrocasting.it  European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), A Manufacturing Process for Precision Engineering Components - Metal Injection Moulding, 2006.  Ashby, M.F., Evans, A.G., Fleck, N.A., Gibson, L.J., Hatchinson, J.W., and Wadley, H.N.G., Metal Foams: A Design Guild, Butterworth-Heinemann, US, 2000.ws  Arburg GmbH, Technical information: Powder Injection Moulding (PIM) - Production of complex moulded parts from metal and ceramics, 2006. Dr. Anchalee Manonukul received her D. Phil. from the University of Oxford, UK in 1999. She continued as a post-doctoral research assistant at Oxford from 2000- 2002 before joining the National Metal & Materials Centre (MTEC), Thailand as a researcher. She has been leading the Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) laboratory since it was setaallurgy with emphasis on MIM and is funded by the Thai-German Institute, the Thailand Research Foundation and by industry both in Thailand and abroad. The Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) Laboratory, MTEC, Thailand The laboratory was established in 2004 under the funding from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan. The MIM equipment and technology were transferred to MTEC via the Japanese MIM Association. The laboratory was the first and is still the only MIM pilot plant in Thailand. The research focuses on new process development and MIM applications. For example, the MTEC MIM section is currently working with CASTEM (Thailand), the only MIM part producer in Thailand, on optimising the MIM process for commercially pure (CP) Titanium and Titanium Alloy Ti-6Al-4V. The optimised process for CP Titanium was implemented at CASTEM (Thailand) during early 2007 with CASTEM (Thailand) becoming only the second company in Asia that can commercially manufacture CP Titanium parts via MIM. R&D work with other domestic manufacturing companies to apply MIM technology to manufacturing medical implants, jewellery and golf putter heads is also ongoing. In addition, a part of the research has been focused on increasing the contents of Thai produced binders for MIM, for example the use of local palm stearin wax and starch. Sintering equipment Injection machine 60 part can be compromised since a solid part may not be necessary. A new injection moulding technique known as gas-assisted injection moulding can be applied to produce a hollow part. Pressurised gas is injected into the softened feedstock within the mould before the feedstock is solidified to create a cavity within the injected part. This reduces material usage and reduces the debinding (processing) time. Figure 6 shows an alumina spoon formed by a gas-assisted injection moulding technique . ● Figure 6. Alumina gas-assisted injection moulded spoon