Micro Injection Moulding
Following the international trend of miniaturisation, parts are becoming smaller
and smaller down into the range of mm. The general injection moulding process is capable of
producing such parts, but there are certain restrictions to be obeyed and the production
equipment, especially for injection moulding, has to be changed or adapted to suit the small
dimensions. With emphasise on injection moulding the special requirements of micro-parts
are discussed. One main point is the minimum shot volume of the injection moulding machine.
Additionally micro-injection moulded parts are showing a lot of characteristics different to
normal sized parts, e.g. because of their small size they cause problems in handling and in
quality control. For manufacturing mould inserts in the mm-range new technologies like LIGA
have to be employed. A wall thickness of less than around 0,2 mm can be filled using
“variotherm”-injection moulding. The integration of all the special features needed for
micro-injection moulded parts into a complete manufacturing cell allows a highly efficient
production. Micro injection moulding need not be used to produce plastic parts only. Powder
injection moulding - PIM - as an emerging technology utilises the advantages of injection
moulding of plastics for metal and ceramic parts.
Christian G. KUKLA
Reçu le 1 août 2001.
Accepté le 15 novembre 2001.
Micro Injection Moulding, Variotherm, Micro Machining, Tooling, Process Control.