Microsystems technology; MEMS/MOEMS; LIGA; powder-injection moulding; micro-MIM; micro-CIM
Development of micro-MIM/-CIM was started at Forschungszentram Karlsrahe with the aim of creating a process suitable for a wide range of materials as well as for medium-scale and large-scale production of micro components. Using enhanced machine technology and special tempering procedures, this process enables the manufacturing of metal and ceramic devices with smallest wall thicknesses of 50 Μm and structural details of less than 3 Μm. Using ultrafine ceramic powders (e.g. zirconia) and high-quality LIGA mould inserts, surface qualities ofRa = 40 nm or Rmax ≤ 3 mm could be obtained. Possible practical applications are demonstrated by components of micro-annular gear pumps made of zirconia for future handling of very small volumes of dangerous fluids and micro samples (tensile and bending specimens) suitable for mechanical testing of metals (316L, 17-4PH) and ceramic materials (A12O3, ZrO2) in the micrometre range.