A new metal injection moulding system for 316L stainless steels has successfully been derived and tested. A mixture of small water atomised powder (average size 15 mum), larger gas atomised powder (average size 75 mum), and sintering additives has been coupled with a new water soluble binder system for economical powder injection moulding. The details for each process step and the effect of sintering additives are described. The binder system consists of poly (2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) as the leachable polymer, polyethylene as the backbone, and stearic acid as a surfactant and plasticiser. This binder system provides satisfactory mixture stability, excellent mouldability, and reasonably fast water leaching and thermal debinding rates. The optimum powder/binder compositions were determined using torque and capillary rheometry. Densification was by persistent liquid phase sintering through additives, such as nickel boride and boron. This 316L powder system was sintered to 7(.)9 g cm(-3) (98(.)75% of theoretical) at 1285 degreesC using nickel boride addition and at 1245 degreesC using boron addition. nickel boride additions are particularly effective at increasing the tensile strength and ductility. In contrast, the boron additions only increase the tensile strength and decrease ductility. Based on microstructure evaluations, this effect is traced to a continuous boride phase on the grain boundaries of the boron doped samples and a discontinuous boride phase on the grain boundaries of the nickel boride samples. (C) 2001 IoM Communications Ltd.