Re: Ceramic Injection Moulding

From: Rudolf Schenker[Pr.Tech.(Eng)] (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 10:03:40 EET

Ian Gibson wrote:

> Dear rp-ml
> Does anyone have any experience in making small moulds for ceramic
> injection moulded parts? The process that has been described to me uses RP
> master patterns to make a Be-Cu mould. This is then used somehow to make a
> CIM mould (copy milling?). The aim is make ceramic parts for a medical
> application.
> Can anyone fill in the gaps and let me know what the potential problems are?
> Do any of you have experience in doing this sort of job (not necessarily
> using the above method)?
> Thanks
> IG
> Dr. Ian Gibson
> Associate Professor
> Department of Mechanical Engineering
> The University of Hong Kong
> tel: (852) 28597901
> fax: (852) 28585415
> mobile: (852) 98738281
> We work our jobs
> Collect our pay
> Believe we're ridin' down the highway when in fact we're slip-slidin away
> (Paul Simon)
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

Dear Dr. Ian

I have been involved with two and only local companies who are performing
ceramic injection moulding. It is my responsibility to design and manufacture
the injection mould tooling.

Areas of application for the moulded products are mining, textile, medical,
automotive and aerospace. We managed to control the complete process on one of
the medical projects/products to within a 0.02mm tolerance.

Considering cost and time issues, I have not considered any of the rapid tooling
concepts. We also have a lot of wear on the tooling. Tool material selection
therefor affects the life of the tool and indirectly the cost per component. I
use a network of toolmakers, so the typical delivery time for a tool/mould is
about 2 to 6 weeks including design, depending of the complexity.
I believe that tool making is an art form and that the quick and cheap solutions
are not viable for high quality solutions. It may take slightly longer to make
proper tooling, but again the product quality and tool life expectancy outweigh
the rest, my personal opinion only from my experience.

I regard the following as important design factors:

        o Production criteria - efficient and reliable operation, cycle time,
          quality, safety,
        o Maintenance & repair,
        o Core actuation- Mechanical, Hydraulic, Pneumatic or Electrical
        o Cooling or Heating of the mould,
        o Runner & Sprew design type,
        o Insert cavity based design,
        o Automatic operation,
        o Replaceable inserts,
        o Material selection (tooling & moulding),
        o Hardening and heat treatment,
        o Injection moulding machine specifications.
        o Component thin wall design
        o Sintering & De-binding

Please let me know if we can be of your assistance.


Rudolf Schenker [Pr.Tech.(Eng.)]
  Mandi's Technologies CC.
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