Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. featured a metal injection molding press at Plast-Ex, the first time the Bolton, Ontario, firm has shown the technology at a trade show.
Zac Glasford, Husky product manager for metal molding systems, said the 650-ton machine would be shipped to Phillips Plastics Corp. of Hudson, Wis., after the May 1-3 show in Toronto. Phillips has been a U.S. pioneer in metal injection molding.
Glasford said Husky has sold 25-30 metal injection presses globally. Magnesium is usually the metal of choice because in addition to its light weight, the metal as a liquid doesn't react with the steel barrel in the press. Most development work so far is to replace die-cast metal in automotive and telecommunications applications. Metal injection molding boasts high productivity compared with die casting technologies, and can help circumvent the currently very high prices for zinc, the chief metal for die casting.
Husky offers MIM presses with clamping forces of 400-1,000 tons. Each machine features a high injection speed - about 20 feet per second - and a heating unit to melt magnesium chips at about 1,112° F.