The powders used in MIM come in a variety of chemistries, particle sizes, and particle shapes. Powder availability determines which engineering materials can be produced by MIM; fortunately, most of the widely used engineering compositions are readily available.
Alloys can be formed by mixing elemental powders, or the combination of master alloy powders with elemental powders, to match the desired alloy. Another approach is to use pre-alloyed power where each particle contains all of the elements. Ferrous alloys are popular in MIM, and nearly half of the commercial activity is in stainless steels.
Most common engineering alloys are possible with MIM, but the most popular alloys are surgical steel MIM-17-4 PH (AISI 630) and austenitic stainless steels MIM-316L (AISI 316L).
The most common alloy families are:
- Low-alloy steels
- Stainless steels