The amorphous metal process yields complex, metal parts with final net-shape in a single molding step. This step involves melting, injecting, and removing the cooled Liquidmetal alloy from the mold cavity.
Once parts have been injection molded, they are ready to use except for removing gates and runners. To remove gates and runners, there are a few suitable approaches depending on the requirements of the finished part. If slight gate vestige is acceptable, waterjet cutting can be used. In cases where little or no gate witness is desired, CNC machining can be employed to remove the gate and runner system.
A wide array of post-processing alternatives are available for amorphous metal parts should you want to achieve specific results outside of the basic requirement to de-gate parts after molding. Some of the more commonly applied post-processing techniques include bead and media blasting, machining, laser welding and e-beam joining, painting, gluing, and physical vapor deposition (PVD).
After automatic loading, Liquidmetal alloy is melted using an induction heating system, reaching temperatures up to 1000°C.
Once the alloy is fully viscous following the 1-2 minute melt period, it is injected into the mold.
Moments after injection, Liquidmetal alloy freezes in the mold, forming a net-shape part. This fully amorphous, cool to the touch Liquidmetal part tree is ejected from the mold and ready for de-gating.
The waterjet provides a rough and quick cut of the gate and runner system from the Liquidmetal part tree.
Machining offers the ability to remove final gate and runner evidence, and also generate additional features that may not be possible with the Liquidmetal molding process.