PropertyConventional binderAgar-based binderBinder content10 to 20%1.5 to 2.5 weight %Debinding timesMany hours/dayAir-dry -- no separate debindingSpecial operationsMay include extra steps such as powder pack and solvent extractionWater fluidizing agent evaporates after molding leaving intergranular pores openPart thickness elasticityLess than 0.25 in., brittle as moldedNo limitations, stiff--but elastic as-molded partTypical tolerance control±0.3%±0.3%Environmental concernsMay be explosive or toxic outgas or solvent requiring disposalNo environmental concerns

For additional information on MIM and other P/M processes, design seminars, and the annual 2003 International Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials conference and design competition contact the Metal Powder Industry Federation, Princeton, N.J. (