Indo-MIM uses Binder Jetting to manufacture over 800 Metal Injection Molding tool inserts

May 24, 2024

Binder Jetting allows for the inclusion of complex conformal cooling channels, as well as offering improved mechanical performance (Courtesy Indo-MIM)
Binder Jetting allows for the inclusion of complex conformal cooling channels, as well as offering improved mechanical performance (Courtesy Indo-MIM)

Indo-MIM, headquartered in Bangalore, India, reports that it is using metal Binder Jetting (BJT) Additive Manufacturing to produce M2-grade tool inserts for its Metal Injection Molding business. After exploring various Additive Manufacturing methods, the company adopted the BJT process in mid-2022 and has since produced over 800 inserts.

Tool inserts have been additively manufactured using laser-based Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) for over a decade, explains Jagadish Holla, Sr VP-Marketing at Indo-MIM. However, the process can be relatively slow and it is only possible to use Maraging Steel for tool insert applications. “This material can, at best, get to 55 HRC post heat treatment,” states Holla, “making it unfavourable for many tooling applications.”

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“Given our material development and sintering expertise, fine-tuned over twenty-five plus years, our M2-grade material offers 50-80% increase in wear resistance, 40% better machinability compared to conventional wrought M2 material,” adds Holla. “These are accomplished through finer grain microstructure and 99% minimum density post sintering. Our M2 material can guarantee 63-66 HRC hardness consistently.”

Indo-MIM can use BJT to build tool inserts weighing between 300 g and 8 kg, all to near-net shape and including complex conformal cooling channels. As well as producing these for in-house use, the company also offers the production of tool inserts as a service to its customers.

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