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Technology Comparisons

There is a place for each of the traditional metal-forming processes: each has its own strong suits as well as its limitations. But wherever a component fabrication choice exists between MIM and one or more of the other processes, it pays to see how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison.

The following table shows how the four major processes fare in some of the more important parameters to consider.

Parameter
MIM
CONVENTIONAL
PM
MACHINING

INVESTMENT
CASTING

Density
98%
88%
100%
98%
Tensile Strength
High
Low
High
High
Elongation
High
Low
High
High
Hardness
High
Low
High
High
Complexity
High
Low
High
Medium
Surface Finish
High
Medium
High
Medium
Production Volumes
High
High
Low
Medium
Range of Materials
High
High
High
Medium-High
Cost
Medium
Low
High
Medium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIM vs. Conventional PM

  • MIM can produce geometries that eliminate secondary operations
  • MIM offers superior density, corrosion performance, strength, ductility
  • MIM can combine two or more PM components into one, reducing part count
  • MIM parts offer superior magnetic performance

MIM vs. Machining

  • MIM designs save material and weight
  • MIM provides cost savings through better material utilization—sprues and runners can be reground and reused as feedstock with no compromise to final properties
  • Molding from a single tool eliminates multiple set-up operations
  • Difficult-to-machine materials can be molded into a net shape

MIM vs. Investment Casting

  • MIM can produce thinner wall sections, sharper cutting points
  • MIM produces better surface finish
  • MIM is better for small-diameter blind and through holes
  • MIM greatly reduces requirements for finish machining
  • MIM produces high volumes of small components at a lower cost, faster lead times