Can Bulk Metallic Glass Take-over Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding in Future?

Published Date : Jan 22, 2016

The fields of metal and ceramic injection molding are considered crucial for the manufacturing of end-components of medical equipment, automobiles, and electronic equipment. The high precision power injection molding techniques available in the market today have made it possible for metals and alloys such as stainless steel, soft magnetic alloys, titanium alloys, and also ceramics to be machined with high level of accuracy and precision for manufacturing components of a variety of products across numerous industries.  The billion-dollar industry of metal and ceramic injection molding is expanding at a healthy pace across the globe. As applications of these techniques increase, it is expected that the market will further excel in the years to come.

There are numerous benefits of metal injection molding techniques that make them a viable contender in the field of manufacturing. Massive metal parts with complex features are easily manufactured with the help of metal injection molding techniques and they do not require the further need for secondary machining processes. The process is also time-efficient as compared to other ways of manufacturing as the high quality parts manufactured using metal injection molding requires very little or even no reworking at all.

Nevertheless, there are certain drawbacks of both metal and ceramic injection molding processes in terms of the physical properties of the products manufactured. Both the techniques lead to low fracture toughness in the products thus made. The high melting point of ceramics is also a factor that sums up to high cost of the final product. Cost of the final ceramic product also depends on the size of the parts to be manufactured.

The multi stepped process of metal injection molding also results in the high cost of products manufactured with the help of metal injection molding.

Owing to these disadvantages of these processes, a large number of research efforts have been undertaken in the past few years that are aimed at the discovery of alternative materials for manufacturing parts of larger systems. One of the most popular of fruits of these research efforts is the product bulk metallic glass. Bulk metallic glass, the compound that possesses the combined mechanical properties of ceramics and crystalline metals such as high resistance to wear and tear, high strength, and low melting point, is seen as the future replacement for metal and ceramic injection molding.