Flomet LLC, DeLand, Fla, and its customer Ormco Sybron Dental Specialties, Orange, Calif, won the Grand Prize at the Metal Powder Industries Federation’s (MPIF) 2007 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards. The companies won for three parts (a bracket, a slide, and a removable drop-in hook) used in the Damon 3MX self-ligating tooth-positioning system.
One bracket and one slide go on each tooth, with the hook an option for about 5% of the teeth. The very tiny, intricate parts are made by metal injection molding from 17-4 PH stainless steel powder to a density of 7.5 g/cm3. They have a tensile strength of 172,000 psi and a yield strength of 158,000 psi. All of the parts are made to a net shape. The customer tumble-polishes them and performs a brazing operation before assembly.
The awards were presented during the 2007 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials held in Denver on May 13–16, 2007.