The binder plays the most important role in the metal injection molding (MIM) process. It provides fluidity of the feedstock mixture and adhesion of the powder to keep the molded shape during injection molding. The binder must provide strength and cohesion for the molded part and must be easy to remove from the molded part. Moreover, it must be recyclable, environmentally friendly and economical. Also, the miscibility between polymers affects the homogeneity of the injected parts. The goal of this study is to develop a feedstock of superalloy Inconel 718 that is environmentally friendly. For these different binders, formulations based on polyethylene glycol (PEG), because of his water solubility property, and bio sourced polymers were studied. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) were investigated as a bio sourced polymer due to its miscibility with the PEG. The result is compared to a standard formulation using polypropylene (PP). The chemical and rheological behavior of the binder formulation during mixing, injection and debinding process were investigated. The feedstock was characterized in the same way as the binders and the interactions between the powder and the binders were also studied. The results show the well adapted formulation of polymer binder to produce a superalloy Inconel 718 feedstock.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited