The mold filling stage of the low-pressure powder injection molding process was simulated numerically and validated by experimental injections. For this, a feedstock formulated from a 17-4PH stainless steel powder (60 vol.%) and a wax-based binder system (40 vol.%) was used. The feedstock was characterized to obtain its thermal properties and rheological profiles at different temperatures. These were then implemented into the Autodesk Moldflow Synergy 2019 package, the numerical tool used for the simulation. The numerical results, including those pertaining to the injected length, the melt front velocity, and the pressure, were validated using a laboratory experiment set-up made of an injection press and two instrumented molds. The injected lengths predicted by the simulation were similar to the experimental short-shot results, with a relative difference below 0.5%. Since the injections were performed at constant volumetric flow, the injected length was not influenced by the feedstock temperature, but only by the shape of the mold cavity. Numerical and experimental results for the pressure were also compared. The agreement between the was good except at the end of the injection process. It is conjectured that the disagreement observed might be due to a difference in boundary conditions. The physical mold not being “air-tight” as the numerical one, an excess pressure could have been present in the latter. As a final note, this interesting simulation capability to predict the injection pressure experienced by a low-pressure (metallic or ceramic) powder injection molding feedstock was, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, for the first time, validated experimentally in this study using a low-pressure sensor placed in the mold during real-scale LPIM injections.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Heaney D (2012) Handbook of metal injection molding. Woodhead Publishing
German RM, Bose A (1997) Injection molding of metals and ceramics. Metal Powder Industries Federation, Princeton
Rei M, Milke E, Gomes R, Schaeffer L, Souza J (2002) Low-pressure injection molding processing of a 316-L stainless steel feedstock. Mater Lett 52(4–5):360–365
Costa C, Michels A, Kipper M (2018) Welding lines formation in holes obtained by low pressure injection molding of ceramic parts. Cerâmica 64(369):97–103
Medvedovski E, Peltsman M (2013) Low pressure injection molding of advanced ceramic components with complex shapes for mass production. Advanced Processing and Manufacturing Technologies for Structural and Multifunctional Materials VI- 36th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites, ICACC 2012, January 22–27, 2012, American Ceramic Society, Daytona Beach, FL, United states:35–51
Mangels JA (1994) Low-pressure injection molding. Am Ceram Soc Bull 73:37–41
Zorzi JE, Perottoni CA, Da Jornada JAH (2003) Wax-based binder for low-pressure injection molding and the robust production of ceramic parts. Ind Ceram 23:47–49
Hidalgo J, Abajo C, Jimenez-Morales A, Torralba JM (2013) Effect of a binder system on the low-pressure powder injection moulding of water-soluble zircon feedstocks. J Eur Ceram Soc 33(15-16):3185–3194
Hausnerova B, Kasparkova V, Hnatkova E (2016) Rheological and thermal performance of newly developed binder Systems for Ceramic Injection Molding, VIII international conference on "times of polymers and composites": from aerospace to nanotechnology. American Institute of Physics, USA: 020120–020124
Goncalves AC (2001) Metallic powder injection molding using low pressure. J Mater Process Technol 118(1-3):193–198
Julien B, Després M (2006) Metal injection Moulding: a near net shape fabrication method for the manufacture of turbine engine component, cost effective manufacture via net shape processing, research and technology organisation (NATO). Amsterdam, Netherlands: 8.1–8.16
Nor NHM, Muhamad N, Jamaludin KR, Ahmad S, Ibrahim MHI (2011) Characterisation of titanium alloy feedstock for metal injection Moulding using palm stearin binder system. Adv Mater Res 264-265(1):586–591
Aslam M, Ahmad F, Yusoff P S M B M, Altaf K, Omar M A, Abdul Khalil H P S (2016) Raza M.R., Investigation of Rheological Behavior of Low Pressure Injection Molded Stainless Steel Feedstocks. Adv Mater Sci Eng 2016
Fareh F, Demers V, Demarquette NR, Turenne S, Scalzo O (2017) Influence of segregation on rheological properties of wax-based feedstocks. Powder Technol 320:273–284
Zhang Y, Basso A, Christensen SE, Pedersen DB, Staal L, Valler P, Hansen HN (2020) Characterization of near-zero pressure powder injection moulding with sacrificial mould by using fingerprint geometries. CIRP Ann 69(1):185–188
Thornagel M (2010) Simulating flow can help avoid mould mistakes. Met Powder Rep 65(3):26–29
Ilinca F, Hétu JF, Derdouri A, Stevenson J (2002) Metal injection molding: 3D modeling of nonisothermal filling. Polym Eng Sci 42(4):760–770
Ilinca F, Hetu J-F, Derdouri A, Stevenson J (2002) Three-dimensional filling and post-filling simulation of metal injection molding. J Inject Molding Technol 6(4):229
Ahn S, Chung S, Atre S, Park S, German R (2008) Integrated filling, packing and cooling CAE analysis of powder injection moulding parts. Powder Metall 51(4):318–326
Tseng H-C, Chang Y-J, Tien C-H, Hsu C-H (2014) Prediction of powder concentration for filling simulation of metal injection molding. In: SPE Annual Tech meeting
Zheng Z-X, Wei X, Zhou Z-Y, Zhu Q-L (2008) Numerical simulation of tungsten alloy in powder injection molding process. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc 18(5):1209–1215
Bilovol V, Kowalski L, Duszczyk J, Katgerman L (2003) Comparison of numerical codes for simulation of powder injection moulding. Powder Metall 46(1):55–60
Bilovol V, Kowalski L, Duszczyk J, Katgerman L (2006) The effect of constitutive description of PIM feedstock viscosity in numerical analysis of the powder injection moulding process. J Mater Process Technol 178(1–3):194–199
Sardarian M, Mirzaee O, Habibolahzadeh A (2017) Influence of injection temperature and pressure on the properties of alumina parts fabricated by low pressure injection molding (LPIM). Ceram Int 43(6):4785–4793
Sardarian M, Mirzaee O, Habibolahzadeh A (2017) Mold filling simulation of low pressure injection molding (LPIM) of alumina: effect of temperature and pressure. Ceram Int 43(1):28–34
Sardarian M, Mirzaee O, Habibolahzadeh A (2017) Numerical simulation and experimental investigation on jetting phenomenon in low pressure injection molding (LPIM) of alumina. J Mater Process Technol 243:374–380
Ben Trad MA, Demers V, Côté R, Sardarian M, Dufresne L (2020) Numerical simulation and experimental investigation of mold filling and segregation in low-pressure powder injection molding of metallic feedstock. Adv Powder Technol 31(3):1349–1358
Zhang MM, Lin B Simulation of ceramic injection molding for zirconia optical ferrule. Key Eng Mater 336–338:997–1000
Jiang B-Y, Wang L, Xie L, Huang B-Y (2005) Viscosity model parameters fitting of feedstock in MIM simulation and analysis. Chin J Nonferrous Met 15(3):429–434
Binet C, Heaney D, Spina R, Tricarico L (2005) Experimental and numerical analysis of metal injection molded products. J Mater Process Technol 164:1160–1166
Koszkul J, Nabialek J (2004) Viscosity models in simulation of the filling stage of the injection molding process. J Mater Process Technol 157(158):183–187
Wang W, Li X, Han X (2012) Numerical simulation and experimental verification of the filling stage in injection molding. Polym Eng Sci 52(1):42–51
Leverkoehne M, Coronel-Hernandez J, Dirscherl R, Gorlov I, Janssen R, Claussen N (2001) Novel binder system based on paraffin-wax for low-pressure injection molding of metal-ceramic powder mixtures. Adv Eng Mater 3(12):995
Majewska-Glabus I, Zhuang L, Vetter R, Duszczyk J (1995) Thermal debinding of Fe 3 Al-X metal powder compacts. J Mater Sci 30(24):6209–6217
Y-m L, Liu X-Q, Luo F-h, Yue J-L (2007) Effects of surfactant on properties of MIM feedstock. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc 17(1):1–8
ASTM-B923–16 (2016) Standard test method for metal powder skeletal density by helium or nitrogen Pycnometry. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA
ASTM-D3418–15 (2015) Standard test method for transition temperatures and enthalpies of fusion and crystallization of polymers by differential scanning Calorimetry. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA
ASTM-E1269–11 (2018) Standard test method for determining specific heat capacity by differential scanning Calorimetry. ASTM International. West Conshohocken, PA
Borup KA, de Boor J, Wang H, Drymiotis F, Gascoin F, Shi X, Chen L, Fedorov MI, Müller E, Iversen BB, Snyder GJ (2015) Measuring thermoelectric transport properties of materials. Energy Environ Sci 8(2):423–435
Xie P, Guo F, Jiao Z, Ding Y, Yang W (2014) Effect of gate size on the melt filling behavior and residual stress of injection molded parts. Mater Des 53:366–372
Bosioc A, Susan-Resiga R, Muntean S (2008) Design and manufacturing of a convergent-divergent test section for swirling flow apparatus. In: proceedings of the 4th German–Romanian workshop on Turbomachinery hydrodynamics (GRoWTH)
Special thanks to Mr. Sarthak Kapoor for his cooperation and help with the experiments in this research.
This work was carried out with the financial support of the Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC, Grant RGPIN-2018-04407).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Azzouni, M., Demers, V. & Dufresne, L. Mold filling simulation and experimental investigation of metallic feedstock used in low-pressure powder injection molding. Int J Mater Form (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12289-021-01612-0
- Low-pressure powder injection molding
- Numerical simulation
- Metallic powder
- Mold filling