Liquidmetal Technologies Blog

Liquidmetal Injection Molding - Elegant, clean and simple

Posted by Glenton Jelbert on Fri, Apr 05, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

Many experienced product designers confuse Liquidmetal Injection Molding with MIM* (Metal Injection Molding).  In an attempt to clarify the difference we have been crafting our message more carefully, and our new website is an attempt to do just that.

However, a picture is worth 1,000 words:

Liquidmetal Injection Molding Animation

We hope that this is a quick way for you to understand the essentials of our process.  For many parts, our process is as elegant as this:

  1. Insert ingot
  2. Injection mold under vacuum
  3. Remove, de-gate and ship

Yes, sometimes we have to drill a hole or two.  Sometimes we need extra polishing for that optical finish.  We may also need to lap or weld, depending upon your requirements.

Our point is the as-cast piece can oftentimes be used as is.  It's strength, elasticity, hardness and surface finish are there from the moment the mold opens up.  Our surface finish is essentially the same as the mold.  Our tolerances are tight in all dimensions.  With a solidification shrinkage of just 0.2% we simply reproduce the mold.

And the molding is done in a vacuum.

Elegant, clean and simple.


* MIM requires multiple processing steps to get a finished product.  Critically, MIM has shrinkage of 12-20% after injection due to the removal of the binding material and sintering, making it difficult to maintain tight tolerances.

Tags: Molding, Technology Comparison