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Defects and Control of Debinding Process in Metal Powder Injection Molding

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Successful binder removal methods for metal powder injection molding

The binder escapes in the form of liquid or gas, successively from sample surface to inside, forming connected open pores. The binder is removed quickly, and the debinding part is free from dirtiness and deformation.

Unsuccessful debinding in metal powder injection molding

Improper selection of debindng method or unreasonable debinding method (such as too high debinding temperature, too fast heating rate or improper selection of debinding solvent, etc.) will produce following defects in debinding process: bubbling, cracking, peeling, holes, dirtying and deformation, etc. These defects in the debinding process are difficult to make up in the subsequent sintering process, thus causing great damage to the appearance, size and performance of product.

How to control metal powder injection molding—debinding process 

In order to ensure that the sample does not bubble, crack, peel, perforate, dirty and deform during debinding process, following principles should be followed

(1) debinding is usually done in several steps.  Firstly, debinding is completed in several steps, which can ensure the green part has certain strength during the whole debinding process, thus avoiding deformation and cracking. Secondly, from the perspective of binder design, it is required the low molecular weight components can be uniformly removed in low temperature zone, so as to avoid a large number removal in a certain temperature zone, thus avoiding cracking, bubbling and deformation. Finally, debinding in multiple steps can reduce the total debinding time and control defect occurrence. For example, thermal debinding time can be greatly reduced by removing some binder in green parts by solvent debinding or catalytic debinding.

(2) debinding rate should not be too fast. The fast debinding rate will easily lead to defects. For example, for solvent debinding, raising the debinding temperature can increase debinding rate, but if the solvent temperature is too high, debinding part will bubble and crack. If the debinding speed is too fast, serious defects such as delamination, cracking and deformation will occur easily.

(3) choose debinidng atmosphere. The debinding atmosphere not only affects debinding rate but also affect pyrolytic carbon residue of binder. When using thermal debinding in H2 atmosphere, the removal of binder is generally clean. Thermal debinding in N2 atmosphere can easily lead to residual carbon in blank. Vacuum thermal debinding rate is fast, but it is easy to crack blank part.

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