- 2016 - AFT wins Grand Prize in the Aerospace/Military Category at MPIF 2016
- 2015 - AFT wins Grand Prize for a precision metal component in the hand tool category at MPIF 2015
Description: The award was given to a breech block fabricated via MIM from 4605 low-alloy steel. The block is inserted into the slide body of a .22 caliber pistol, creating the breech face and other critical functions. The unique geometry of the part—composed of two large masses separated by a channel running axially down the length of the part, creating two distinct bodies connected by very small ribs—presented a significant challenge to keeping the part together during sintering and maintaining tight final tolerances. The component was manufactured 100% to print with no secondary machining operations; it is heat treated to a hardness range of 37–45 HRC, receives a black oxide finish, and then undergoes a coining operation to qualify the width. Published properties include density of 7.5 g/cm³, ultimate tensile strength of 1,655 MPa, yield strength of 1,480 MPa, and 2% elongation. The fabricator believes this is the first breech block fabricated using MIM, an indication that it is possible to expand the application boundaries for MIM even in a mature arena such as firearms.
- 2014 - ARC MIM Wins Metal Injection Molding Awards
- 2014 - AFT wins Award of Distinction in the Hand Tools/Recreation category at MPIF 2014
Description: The award was given to a lock hood for a muzzleloading rifle. Fabricated via MIM from 4605 low-alloy steel, the hood’s complex geometry presents a challenge for maintaining the large U-shape sufficiently undistorted so that it can be coined into final tolerance. This is accomplished using a unique sintering and staging approach that utilizes an “active” setter made of a feedstock having a similar shrink rate to the hood. The part has a density of 7.65 g/cm³, an ultimate tensile strength of 1,480 MPa, a yield strength of 1,310 MPa, an elongation <1.0%, and a 48 HRC hardness. The MIM process allowed the customer to offer the rifle at the desired price point in this competitive market.