• 1 Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi 43600, Selangor, Malaysia
Materials (Basel), 2023 Sep 24;16(19).
PMID: 37834512 DOI: 10.3390/ma16196375


The micro-scale joining of two different materials using two-component micro-powder injection molding (2C-µPIM) is an intriguing technique. The formation of defects in bi-materials at different processing stages makes this technique challenging. This study presents the fabrication of defect-free bi-material micro-parts containing hydroxyapatite (HA) and 3 mol% yttria-stabilized zirconia (3YSZ) via 2C-µPIM. Critical powder volume concentrations (CPVCs) of 61.7 vol% and 47.1 vol% were obtained for the HA and 3YSZ powders, respectively. Based on the CPVCs, the optimal loadings for the HA and 3YSZ powders were selected as 60 vol% and 45 vol%, respectively. The HA and 3YSZ feedstocks were prepared by separately mixing the optimal powder contents with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and palm stearin binders. The feedstocks displayed pseudoplastic behavior, and the lowest ranges of viscosity for the HA and 3YSZ at a temperature of 180 °C were 157.1-1392.5 Pa·s and 726.2-985.5 Pa·s, respectively. The feedstocks were injected to produce green HA/3YSZ micro-sized components. It was found that a solvent debinding temperature of 70 °C removed 60.6% of the palm stearin binder from the sample. In the thermal debinding stage, the open channels that formed in the bi-material sample's solvent debound at 70 °C and contributed to the removal of 93 to 95% of the binder system. When the debound bi-materials were sintered at 1300 °C, the highest relative density of 96.3% was obtained. The sintering operation revealed a linear shrinkage between 13 and 17% in the sintered HA/3YSZ micro-parts.

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