Metal Injection Molding (MIM) of Magnesium and Its Alloys


Current research has highlighted that magnesium and its alloys as biodegradable material are highly suitable for biomedical applications. The new material fully degrades into nontoxic elements and offers material properties matching those of human bone tissue. As biomedical implants are rather small and complex in shape, the metal injection molding (MIM) technique seems to be well suited for the near net shape mass production of such parts. Furthermore, MIM of Mg-alloys is of high interest in further technical fields. This study focusses on the performance of MIM-processing of magnesium alloy powders. It includes Mg-specific development of powder blending, feedstock preparation, injection molding, solvent and thermal debinding and final sintering. Even though Mg is a highly oxygen-affine material forming a stable oxide layer on each particle surface, the material can be sintered to nearly dense parts, providing mechanical properties matching those of as cast material. An ultimate tensile strength of 142 MPa, yield strength of 67 MPa, elastic modulus of 40 GPa and 8% elongation at fracture could be achieved using novel organic polymer binders for the feedstock preparation. Thus, first implant demonstrator parts could be successfully produced by the MIM technique.
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