Ceramic injection molding (CIM) offers a near net-shape, large scale production of ceramic components with complex geometry. The basis for the CIM technology forms the so-called feedstock consisting of a homogeneous mixture consisting of the ceramic powder and a thermoplastic binder system. The feedstock development is carried out at a shear roller. For characterizing the rheological properties of the feedstocks a torque measuring device (Plastograph, Brabender) and a high pressure capillary viscosimeter (RH10, Bohlin) are used. Development and production of ceramic injection molded parts is done with two injection molding machines (Allrounder 370C and 320S, Arburg). For debindering the ceramic green parts thermal, catalytical or extraction debindering methods can be applied. An X-ray computed tomograph is available for non-destructive testing of injection molded components in the green state.
The two-component injection molding technique allows the production of multi-functional ceramic parts in just one processing step without any additional joining of the compound partners. In this technology two ceramic feedstocks are injected in one ceramic tool. Two-component injection molding allows one to combine materials with different properties, such as electrical conductivity/electrical insulation, high thermal conductivity/thermal insulation, or magnetic/non-magnetic properties. In the manufacturing process of such components it is the technological challenge to adjust the shrinkage behavior of the materials during debindering and sintering. This demands an exact adjustment of the shrinking behavior of the compound partners during the feedstock development. For two-component injection molding an injection molding machine and a testing tool are available.
Products and services offered
- Feedstock development and characterization
- Development of injection molded ceramic components
- Non-destructive testing of injection molded components in the green state by computed tomography
- Thermal, catalytical and extraction debindering
- Development of ceramic feedstocks with adjusted shrinking behavior
- Development of two-component injection molded parts
Examples and references
Ceramic injection molding: cooling device, thread guide, turbo charger rotors, caps for magnets, knee endoprothesis.
The two-component injection molding technique for automotive and railway applications is developed in the project “CarCIM” funded by the European Commission within the 6th Frame Programme.
Fraunhofer IKTS is member of the so-called Expert Group on Ceramic Injection Molding within the German Ceramic Society (DKG).