A fabrication process of the net shape 316-L stainless-steel micro machine components is reported. The fabrication process combines softlithography and powder metallurgy to produce microcomponents of complex geometries of high quality. The process starts with softlithography by producing ultra thick SU-8 master moulds and their negative replicas of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Then stainless-steel slurry is prepared by mixing super fine 316-L steel powder and binder to fill the PDMS moulds. The two binders used in the experiments were Duramax D-3005 and a mixture of B1000 and B1007. The PDMS micro moulds are filled with the metallic slurries and green parts are obtained from de-moulding, before going through de-binding and sintering in forming gas atmosphere. The fabrication steps were repeatedly tested. The resultant micro parts show high quality shape retention which is attributed to the quality of the SU-8 master moulds. The hardness property of the sintered microcomponents was tested with a micro indenter and a 200 g load was applied. The Vickers hardness of the sintered components was found to be about 255, which was higher than 225 of annealed 316L stainless steel and the two binders make little difference on the hardness of the sintered samples.
|Journal||Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering|
|Early online date||7 Oct 2008|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2008|