Case Study: Ferrule

Process: Metal injection molding
Yield Strength: 0.2%
Tensile Strength: 986 MPa
Density: 7.64g/cc

End Use and Function

This ferrule is used in aerospace engines to provide a conductive path between the screen and engine. It also provides support to the single cable and prevents cable loading being placed on the screen.

The largest challenge involved with developing this ferrule was in the complex geometry. The manufacturing processes needed to be designed to maintain shape geometry while reducing the need for secondary post-sintering operations to keep the costs minimized.

Ferrule Aerospace Component
2016 Award of Distinction: Ferrule

Fabrication

This component was an ideal fit for metal injection molding (MIM) and was sintered to net shape. Process control initiatives were taken throughout each step of the manufacturing process from compounding of the feedstock to final shipment.  There were no secondary operations necessary to meet required dimensional specification.

Results

The developmental challenge of this part was achieved through optimized molding parameters and part staging during the sintering process. Overall, designing with MIM reduced assembly part count and the number of bond joints. This part was originally made from bar stock, which means that there were cost savings just by switching to MIM.

Additionally, because MIM was used, there was a low amount of scrap with no byproduct from machining. These parts were manufactured in a zero discharge facility where no wastewater is released into the environment and airborne pollutants are closely monitored by the EPA, and are at levels that are a fraction of what is considered harmful.