Materials and Structures

Manufacture of parts using the PIM process

The powder injection moulding process combines the features of injection moulding which is a technique widely used for forming plastics, with the flexibility of choice of materials. Thanks to this process, moulding of ceramic powder (CIM: Ceramic Injection Moulding) and of metal powder (MIM: Metal Injection Moulding) can be achieved. This process has many advantages both from a technical and economic standpoint. Part of this research activity is focused on the development of feedstock for the manufacture of metallic (MIM) or ceramic parts (CIM).

The laboratory is involved in several industrial projects:

  • BioPIM: As part of the work of the Plastipolis cluster, this project has introduced bio-polymers into the feedstock formulae that are used in the PIM technology for the manufacture of complex parts.
    • Partners: European Plasturgy Cluster, CEA Grenoble, Eurotungstène, Alliance, St Gobain Solcera, A. Griffon.
  • CARPIM: Created in 2009 with the support of the ARDI and in collaboration with Hexamétal and Create Outillage within the « Rhône-Alpes Automotive Cluster », this project examines the feasibility of the manufacture of tungsten carbide components using the PIM technology. It is funded by the Rhône-Alpes region.
  • Plastronics: This project concerns plastronics, a combination of plasturgy, electronics and computing. Created in 2011, this three-year research project is co-financed by the Rhône-Alpes Region and FUI. The project brings together research laboratories that generate upstream know-how and support the various partners, high-tech SMEs (Mapea,Ardeje, Gamberini, Electronic F6), which are specialists in employed technologies as well as industrial companies (A.Raymond,Valéo, Movéa, Radiall) which provide a specification of the components to be developed and validate the industrial  applicability of the project results by producing and integrating the components.

Thermo-chemical Treatments

In the field of low-pressure thermo-chemical treatments whether plasma assisted or not, ECAM Lyon has developed leading edge skills in cementation, nitriding and carbonitriding. This work is focused on testing new atmospheres, the impact on metallurgical and mechanical properties, resistance to corrosion of the treated parts, the treatments best suited to new steel grades or metallic materials etc.

Study Examples:

  • The improvement of the lifespan of wood cutting tools using ion nitriding.
  • Research in surface treatments to prevent jamming of ejectors in plasturgy moulds.
  • Low pressure Carbonitridation of components produced using MIM technology.
  • The effect of different atmospheres during sintering of gold components manufactured using MIM.
  • Partners include: BMI, Thermi-Lyon, Alliance, Lypsis,…