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Hydrogen In Metal Injection Molding / Sintering Process

Posted on: 28 Jul, 2015   |   With: 0 Comments
Category:  Hydrogen

MVS has successfully supplied and commissioned 2 Nos. Hydrogen Gas Plants in 2015 to a leading global supplier of precision-engineered products. The company is the world’s largest Metal Injection Molding (MIM) parts manufacturer in South India.

Why Hydrogen for Sintering:

Pure Hydrogen gas (H2) is often the most effective atmosphere for the high temperature sintering (i.e the thermal fusing of powders in compaction to form a solid, usually at temperatures near the melting point) of many Powder Metallurgy (PM) parts.

Customer was earlier purchasing Hydrogen gas in cylinders from the market and the cost of the Hydrogen purchased from dealers was very high. Large consumption of cylinders (around 200 cylinders per day) was the reason that the customer explored options of onsite Hydrogen production and approached MVS. Handling such large volume of cylinders was also a Major safety hazard. Hence, chaning over to onsite Hydrogen generation was a major priority.

Customer procured two Hydrogen Gas Plants from MVS of following specifications:

Technology: Bi-Polar PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Technology
Capacity: 60 NM3/hr (2 Nos. – 30 NM3/hr each)
Application: Sintering
Purity: 99.9998 % Hydrogen for both the generators

(Photo of 2 Nos. Proton Hydrogen plants running at customer facility)
(Photo of 2 Nos. Proton Hydrogen plants running at customer facility)

Metal injection molding (MIM) is a metalworking process by which finely-powdered metal is mixed with a measured amount of binder material to comprise a “feedstock” capable of being handled by plastic processing equipment through a process known as Injection mold forming. The MIM process is typically explained as four unique processing steps (Compounding, Molding, Debinding and Sintering) to produce a final part that may or may not need final finishing operations.

Out of four unique processing steps Sintering is particularly the most important among thermal treatment of metals done through high purity Hydrogen Generators.

Benefits of using Hydrogen in Continuous furnace for Sintering process:

  1. Industrial gases such as Hydrogen for furnace atmosphere are characterized by their high purity (>99.9995%). This purity is typically adequate for many processes involving a wide array of material.
  2. Stainless steel parts represent a major portion of Metal Injection Molding process, but a number of other high performance alloys, such as tungsten carbide and other tungsten alloys, also require high temperature sintering in hydrogen.
  3. One of the reason such high temperatures are needed when sintering stainless steels in hydrogen (besides striving to reach comparable densities to wrought parts) is to reduce surface oxides and strip impurities such as silica (SiO2) from the alloy.
  4. Pure Hydrogen atmospheres provide the highest possible atmosphere quality for stainless steel parts and lower dew point leads to more reducing conditions and, in many cases better furnace atmosphere performance.
  5. The application of high purity, high pressure Hydrogen to metals is an extremely practical, safe and economical method to grind metals into powder and then process them through sintering and subsequent procedures. Particularly, in the sintering process it is essential to avoid metal oxidation that reduces the powders aggregation ratio, which is eventually eliminated through redox reactions to obtain pieces characterized by superior mechanical qualities and allows obtaining a bright surface occurs in furnace cooling area, in a not-oxidant atmosphere.
  6. High purity Hydrogen atmosphere allows obtaining substantial savings on sintering procedures, which also reduce air pollution and risks for the personnel.

About MVS Engineering Limited

MVS Engineering is a turnkey supplier of Gas generation equipment for Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen gases. Additionally, we also manufacture Air, Gas, Liquid Dryers and also Gas Purification systems. MVS is the largest supplier of gaseous Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen plants in India. Besides India, MVS also regularly exports it’s equipment to the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Europe.

MVS was founded in 1977 and has supplied over 8000 skid-mounted units worldwide. Read more about the company in the About Us section of our website.

About Proton OnSite, USA
Proton Onsite designs and manufactures Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrochemical systems to make hydrogen from water in a zero pollution process producing safe, pure, reliable onsite hydrogen to meet today’s global hydrogen requirements. Proton has been developing and manufacturing world-class electrolysis systems since 1996, with thousands of units deployed world-wide, on every continent. With a reputation for building robust, reliable, and safe systems, federal, state, and commercial partners repeatedly seek the creative solutions that Proton OnSite has proven it is capable of delivering. For more information, visit www.ProtonOnsite.com.

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