Automotive Parts Produced by Metal Injection Moulding

Topics Covered

Background

Sunroof Levers

Cable Connector

Handbrake Mechanism

Connecting Shafts

Crank

Camplate

Background

Metal injection moulding (MIM) can be best described as a cross between polymer injection moulding and powder metallurgy. It is suited to the production of large numbers of complex shapes such as the examples shown below.

Sunroof Levers

Manufactured in a low alloy steel MP-S-0007. The levers are zinc-plated, with black chromating being specified for the passivation as well as aesthetic reasons. These parts are produced in quantities of 750000 per year.

Cable Connector

A connector of a cable control for an automatic gearbox. The shaft is 75mm long and 6mm in diameter, with a 30x2.5mm hole in one end. The parts are heat treated and gas nitrided because a certain deformation is needed in the cable joining operation, and to prevent wear in service. Special care must be taken to maintain the straightness of the shaft. Demand for the connector is 200000 units per year.

Handbrake Mechanism

The self-adjusting handbrake mechanism consists of three MIM parts totalling 88g. The parts arte assembled with no need for machining. The material is MECO 14, quenched and tempered steel.

Connecting Shafts

These parts are made from low alloyed steel MP-S-0007 and are part of a security locking system for cars. A special hardening and tempering heat treatment provides high ductility for specific deformation behaviour. To prevent corrosion the parts are zinc-plated and passivated by yellow chromating. Demand is for 800000 parts per year. MIM parts are replacing forged units for economic reasons.

Crank

This small crank is part of a sunroof mechanism and is made from MP-S-0009. Each part weighs 3g each and are zinc electroplated in the as-sintered state, with no post sinter machining required. 200000 parts are made each year.

Camplate

35mm in diameter, this camplate is part of the motorised driver’s seat adjuster. MIM is the most cost-effective method to produce this complex shape in high volumes. The material is MP-A-0007. The part is shown in the as-sintered state.

 

Primary author: Dr. Henri Cohrt

Source: Materials World, Vol. 7 no. 4 pp 201-03, April 1999

 

For more information on Materials World please visit The Institute of Materials

 

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