CIM uses a similar process to MIM; the difference lies in the material feedstocks, binders, and processing temperatures in molding and sintering. Otherwise the two processes closely follow each other:

  • Ceramic powders are combined with a binder – generally a thermoplastic, then extruded into pellets
  • Pellets are fed into an injection molding machine, where they are heated and melted
  • The rotating screw of the injection molding machine shears and compacts the molten ceramic-binder matrix further liquefying it
  • The injection molding machine injects the metal-binder matrix at high pressure into injection mold tooling, part is cooled and ejected
  • Molded CIM parts, now in their green state are de-bound where ~80% of the binder is removed. Parts are now in their brown state
  • Brown state parts then go into a sintering furnace with high heat and an inert atmosphere where the remaining binder is burned off, ceramic powder densifies, and CIM components leave the sintering furnace at full density