Case Study: Mirror Cover, Base and Middle

Process: Metal injection molding
Material: MIM-316L stainless steel
Density: 7.65 g/cc³
Tensile Strength: 480 MPa
Hardness: 100 HRB max
Yield Strength: 150 MPa

Mirror Cover, Base & Middle
2016 Award of Distinction: Mirror Cover, Base & Middle

End Use and Function

The award was given for three parts—a mirror cover, a base, and a middle— that assembled into an infrared gas sensor for methane and carbon dioxide detection that has extremely low power consumption.

Fabrication

Molded from MIM-316L stainless steel, this new application is designed specifically for the metal injection molding (MIM) process. All parts are four cavity tools with complex matchings. These are medium-complexity parts that have an esthetic requirement on a few reflective surfaces. The part density is 7.65 g/cc³, ultimate tensile strength 480 MPa, elongation 45%, yield strength 150 MPa, and hardness of 100 HRB max.

Results

  • While possible to create this part using a different process, the holes, ribs, pips, and thickness would be difficult to efficiently reproduce.
  • Using MIM to create this part resulted in an estimated cost savings of 20%.