Indo-US MIM Tec. Pvt. Ltd. (Indo-MIM) has received six MPIF PM Design Excellence Awards at the recently concluded 2015 World Congress on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials (PM2015) at San Diego, California.
Grand Prize in Off-Highway Segment : Indo-MIM won the award for four MIM components—catcher, tension bar, and new base cap & body—. The components are used in proportional valves found in hydraulic circuits of off-highway and farm equipment. The two parts forming the new base are made of MIM 17-4 PH stainless steel, while the catcher and tension bar are formed of 4605 low-alloy steel. All dimensions of the two parts forming the new base are achieved in the as-MIM condition, including the internal thread in the body. The catcher receives a grinding and burnishing to attain the OD tolerance and surface finish, while the tension bar needs only a turning operation to form an external thread without a parting line. Heat-treated properties include a minimum density of 7.5 g/cm³, 1,550 MPa ultimate tensile strength, yield strength of 1,400 MPa, 3% elongation, and 42–48 HRC hardness range. The parts were formerly produced via machining, welding, conventional PM, and fastening. By completely re-designing the parts to maximize the advantages MIM offers, the customer obtained savings estimated at 65%, with annual production of 350,000.
Distinction in Automotive Segment : Indo-MIM won the award for a MIM 4605 low-alloy steel top plate that goes into shock absorbers of an American automobile. The complexity of the part—with its 18 holes and six thin ribs that connect to a ring around a central hole—presented a challenge to complete filling. The gating and venting system played a key role in producing this part defect free. It is produced close to net shape, with surface grinding to achieve flatness and a facing operation to achieve height tolerance being the only secondary operations performed. After heat treating, the part has a density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 1,550 MPa, yield strength of 1,400 MPa, elongation of 3%, and a hardness range of 42–48 HRC. This application is a new design for MIM and delivers increased repeatability/accuracy of the shock absorber over the previous machined version, with estimated savings of 25%.
Award of Distinction in Hardware Segment: Indo-MIM won the award for MIM 17-4 PH stainless steel parts—front and rear keepers that go into industrial electrical locks. The parts’ complexity, with many cross holes and sharp knurl features, required the use of multiple slides, some moving at different angles. The parts are made close to net shape requiring only a final coining to adjust a small distortion and a tapping operation on the front keeper. The heat-treated properties include density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 1,220 MPa, yield strength of 1,100 MPa, elongation of 7%, and a hardness range of 35–40 HRC. Annual quantities are 20,000 per part.
Award of Distinction in Recreation Segment: Indo-MIM won the award for 4605 low-alloy steel bolt used in a recreational item. Made via MIM, the part replaced one produced by brazing together three machined parts, delivering an estimated 35% cost savings in the process. The part’s design features many cross holes and undercuts, requiring complex side core matchings in the molding cavity. The part has a heat-treated density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 1,550 MPa, yield strength of 1,400 MPa, elongation of 3%, and a hardness range of 28–35 HRC maximum. The fabricator delivers 60,000 pieces annually.
Award of Distinction in Electrical Segment: Indo-MIM won the award for MIM 17-4 PH stainless steel shell that part goes into a charging assembly for mobile phones. The complex geometry of the part, with thin cross sections and internal undercuts, was achieved with a slide-in-slide mechanism moving on specially designed cam tracks. All dimensions are achieved in the as-sintered condition, with properties that include a density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 900 MPa, yield strength of 730 MPa, elongation of 7%, and 35 HRC hardness. The MIM part replaced an earlier design that used sheet metal processing and welding, with an estimated 20% cost savings. Two million of the parts are delivered each month.
Award of Distinction in Electrical Segment: Indo-MIM won the award for two parts—a male fool-proof device and a female polarizer—made via MIM from 4340 low-alloy steel. The parts go into an electric connector assembly made for a leading aircraft manufacturer. Both parts are fabricated to net shape, with all dimensions achieved in the as-MIM condition; this includes the threads, which are formed through auto unwinding in the tooling. The parts have a minimum heat-treated density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 1,500 MPa, yield strength of 1,350 MPa, 4% elongation, and a hardness range of 42–48 HRC. The fabricator delivers 320,000 pieces annually.