Metal Injection Molding in Medical Device Manufacturing

Metal Injection Molding in Medical Device Manufacturing

Experienced CMO partners can assist original equipment manufacturer partners (OEMs) in choosing materials and improving designs to guarantee any project’s success.

FREMONT, CA: Metal injection molding (MIM) process has allowed medical device manufacturers to cost-effectively produce high-performance, complex geometric parts, and components for surgical instruments in large quantities. This technology needs to be part of any full-service contract manufacturer organization’s (CMO) offerings because of its capability to continuously provide a high-quality medical device using a single manufacturing process.

MIM and standard machine processes can be used to develop medical device components efficiently. MIM provides particular benefits for specific high-volume, high precision projects where the parts might be smaller and need more operability with robust mechanical properties.

The MIM process includes the shaping ability of plastic injection molding and traditional powder metallurgy’s material flexibility to properly produce small sophisticated parts at large quantities using high temperature and pressure. This process merges metal powder and plastic binders mixed and compounded so that an injection moldable feedstock can be created to manufacture the parts.

The manufactured part then undergoes a binder removal process using an injection molding machine. Various methods of debinding are implemented according to the type of binder used, and a thermal process to remove polymer is used. The parts then go through a sintering process to check the correct material composition, physical properties, and geometry. The sintering process allows controlled shrinkage by 25 to 25 percent of full density, with the final result as a net shape part. Additional post-process may be required to arrive at the end process.

The medical device needs manufacturers to keep finding ways to minimize development cycles, production time, and costs to enhance value and return on investment. Experienced CMO partners can assist original equipment manufacturer partners (OEMs) in choosing materials and improving designs to guarantee any project’s success. It is vital to work together early on in the development cycle to make sure a component developed through metal injection molding to meet the required mechanical properties.