Ceramic Injection Moulded Components
The injection moulding of ceramics is a new and innovative process that provides cost effective solutions for design engineers requiring complex, repeatable ceramic components.
When a ceramic material has been chosen for a specific application, the geometry of the component has often been limited by the cost of shaping operations. Ceramic Injection Moulding (CIM) overcomes this issue by forming net shape parts in the tool.
Designs previously rejected as too difficult or expensive to manufacture using other production techniques are made commercially feasible. Features such as re-entrant angles, multi-shaped blind holes, screw threads, surface profiles, perpendicular holes, undercuts and intricate cavities are all possible using CIM technology. A multi-million pound investment in CIM manufacturing technology at Stourport has enabled the site to produce moulded ceramic components in volume for major international customers.
These components offer all the benefits associated with technical ceramics including wear resistance, corrosion resistance, thermal stability, superior hardness, high mechanical strength and dimensional stability. Physical features available through Ceramic Injection Moulding include undercuts, threads, blind holes and curves.
Moldflow® analysis allows optimisation of the part and mould design by adjusting areas such as gate positions, wall thickness and cooling parameters to help achieve success.
Moldflow® simulation is usually conducted during the product design stage or the early stages of the tool design to eliminate many of the problems associated with commissioning an injection mould, before construction and major investment in the mould has even begun.
Cavity Pressure Control
Jobs with high volume and tight tolerances demand a level of capability that can only be achieved with cavity pressure containment and control. Cavity pressure is the process variable that correlates most directly with part quality. MTC use this to monitor characteristics such as part weight, dimensions, flash, sinks, shorts and warp. When deviations are detected and contained, part quality to the customer can be assured. With cavity sensors, we have the ability to navigate without reference to the horizon. Conventional molding is similar to a pilot flying in the clouds without even a compass.
CIM - A Cost Effectiveness Solution
The inherent hardness of ceramic means that manufacturing complex shaped ceramic components by standard machining processes can be expensive. Other manufacturing processes such as dry pressing or extrusion limit part complexity. More recently, there has been a change in philosophy in component manufacturing, paralleling the benefits of computation. There is a discernible move away from the energy inefficient and wasteful practice of machining off material, towards more efficient net-shape fabrication. This in turn has allowed production engineers and product designers to improve productivity, lower manufacturing costs and improve product performance.
CIM offers an economic solution for delivering repeatable, ultra high precision ceramic components. Allowing engineers great versatility and freedom in the design of advanced ceramic components. Designs previously rejected as too difficult or expensive to manufacture using other production techniques are made commercially possible. Features such as re-entrant angles, multi-shaped blind holes, screw threads, surface profiles, perpendicular holes, undercuts and intricate cavities are all possible using CIM technology.
For more information on how we produce our ceramic injection moulded products, contact us today.