Serial production without material loss

2022/07/27

Among the advantages of Metal Injection Molding, the speed of production is usually highlighted, as well as the fact that even very small and extremely complex parts can be serially produced smoothly with this process. With MIM technology, it is also possible to create parts that cannot be produced by CNC machining or other manufacturing methods at all, or if so, only at a much higher cost. But there is also another important argument in favor of MIM: the big advantage of the process is that it can be used practically without material loss, since granules can be made from the discarded raw material again, i.e. it can be 100% reused, especially in the case of expensive metals such as copper , titanium or tungsten can make or break the economics of the entire production. In addition, from the point of view of environmental protection, it is also a non-negligible factor if no waste is generated during production.

Soaring raw material prices
Due to the stoppage during the Covid epidemic and the sudden increase in demand, there was a worldwide shortage of raw materials, which only further increased the price of non-ferrous metals and rare metals, which were not cheap before. Although the price of copper has shown some fluctuations in recent times, in the long term, all experts expect that the demand for it will increase, since copper is the primary electrical conductor in our world, and in the future electricity will increasingly come to the fore, and since there are not many new deposits, it is hard to imagine that the price of copper will not rise. All the more so because it is not only needed by the electrical industry, but also indispensable for motor winding or as an alloying material.

Additional difficulties
The negative effects of the increase in demand after the epidemic are only compounded by the Russian-Ukrainian war and its economic consequences. Russia is the second largest producer of platinum which is more expensive than gold and in part of more than 20% of consumer goods in the world. The situation is similar for titanium, which is not considered rare - it is the ninth most common element on the planet - but it is very difficult to produce in a pure metal form. More than 5% of the world's titanium production comes from Ukraine, which also does not point in the direction of a decrease in its price. Or there is one of the world's most important raw materials, tungsten. Known as the hardest material in the universe, the element is used in everything from light bulbs to rocket engines to nuclear reactors. China accounts for 85% of the world's tungsten production, which practically creates a monopoly for the Asian power.

Production without material loss is therefore not only important from an environmental point of view, but also in our basic interest when working with rare or expensive metals. The MIM technology guarantees the most economical solution by being able to reuse the material left out during production.

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