Injection moulding of 316L stainless steel powder using palm stearin based binder system / Istikamah Subuki

Subuki, Istikamah (2010) Injection moulding of 316L stainless steel powder using palm stearin based binder system / Istikamah Subuki. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi MARA.

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Abstract

Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) process is an economically attractive method of
producing large amounts of small and complex metallic parts. This is achieved by
combining the productivity of injection moulding with the versatility of sintering metal
particulates. In MIM, the powdered metal is blended with a binder to obtain a feedstock.
The binder imparts flowability to the blend at injection moulding conditions and strength
at ambient conditions. After moulding, the binder is removed in a sequence of steps that
usually involves solvent extraction and thermal pyrolysis. Once the binder is removed,
the metal particles are sintered. Accordingly, though the binder should not dictate the
final composition, it has an influence on the process. Today, new local binder
composition and its effectiveness as a binder system to all type of metal powder are the
focus of many investigations. In this research work, a gas atomised 316L stainless steel
(SS) powder with different particle size (16 μm and 45 μm) were evaluated using a
locally binder system comprising a major fraction of palm stearin (PS) and polyethylene
(PE). All the feedstock prepared shows homogeneity with pseudoplastic behaviour
which is suitable for MIM process. Feedstock was prepared in a Z-blade mixer for batch
mixing and subsequent injection moulding was carried out to form a tensile specimen.
Prior to sintering, the moulded specimen were leached in heptane to remove the PS and
then heated in furnace to remove the remaining PE binder. Some defect was detected for
the specimen made with courser powder after being thermal pyrolysis. However, for fine
powder (16 μm), all specimens were in good condition. After being sintered, the
specimen gives 91% of the theoretical density. In order to achieve high density of
sintered specimen, the powder loading was increase to the optimum powder loading of
65 vol.% and these results in specimens with 97.6% theoretical density. The influence of
PS content was optimised in order to make full use of this in MIM work. Experimental
evidence showed that the maximum content of PS in binder system allowable is up to 70
wt.%. The result also showed that increasing the PS content may shorten the overall
debinding process and higher sintered density of 99.1% of theoretical maximum value
can be achieved. Besides PS/PE system, another backbone binder; polypropylene (PP)
with different composition was evaluated to show the interaction with PS. Although the
rheological properties show dilatant behaviour, the feedstock was successfully injection
moulded and achieved high density of green specimen. Moreover, the specimen was
easy to handle during solvent extraction and thermal pyrolysis. Higher sintered density
of 99.25% was achieved as compared to PS/PE binder formulation. Introduction of
stearic acid (SA) in the binder that act as a lubricant helped in the mixing process to
produce a homogeneous blend and the torque reached a steady state value in a short
time. Increasing the stearic acid in the binder system resulted in lowered viscosity, thus
improving the injection mouldability of the feedstock. This new developed binder, PS
can also be injection moulded with water atomised 316L stainless steel powder, and the
density achieved is 96% that of theoretical density. High physical and mechanical
properties of the sintered specimen can be achieved as sintered at the temperature of
1360 oC with the heating rate of 10 oC/min under vacuum atmosphere followed by 95%
N2/5% H2 and argon condition.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Creators:
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Subuki, Istikamah
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Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering. Civil engineering > Stainless steel
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Item ID: 4266
Uncontrolled Keywords: Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), injection moulding, binder, 316L, stainless steel
URI: https://ir.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/4266

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