Most of the common engineering materials are available in MIM, but material sales are as follows – 53% stainless steels, 27% steels, 10% tungsten alloys, 7% iron-nickel alloys (mostly magnetic alloys), 4% titanium alloys, 3% copper, 3% cobalt-chromium, 2% tool steels, 2% nickel super-alloys, and 1% electronic alloys. On a tonnage basis the stainless steel portion of powder consumption is larger, reaching upwards to 60-65% of powder consumption, and because of that large consumption the powder price is lower, further fueling the use of stainless steel in MIM. Some of the powders are high priced, such as titanium, so the sales partition based on tonnage versus dollars is skewed due to a wide range in material costs.
MIM production for 2010 was in the neighborhood of $1 billion dollars (independent estimates were in the $955 to $984 million range). The recorded historical sales growth is plotted for PIM (black line – includes metals, ceramics, and carbides) and MIM (red) below.