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Publication numberUS2994947 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 8, 1961
Filing dateNov 12, 1958
Priority dateNov 12, 1958
Publication numberUS 2994947 A, US 2994947A, US-A-2994947, US2994947 A, US2994947A
InventorsRaymond J Towner, Jr John P Lyle
Original AssigneeAluminum Co Of America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aluminum base alloy powder product
US 2994947 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

States In, New Ken- Aluminnm Company of a corporation of Pennsyl- This invention relates to articles made from aluminum base alloy powders and it is more particularly concerned with those products resulting from heating and working a compacted mass of atomized particles of an aluminumberyllium base alloy.

Heretofore, compressed and sintered bodies of oxidecoated aluminum flake powders have been produced which possess unique strength properties at elevated tempera tures. The particles of oxide distributed throughout the body appear to impart the unusual strength at elevated temperatures. The production of the oxide-coated flakes is time consuming and consequently expensive. It has nowbeen found, contrary to previous belief, that useful articles can be made from certain types of atomized aluminum alloy powders. As is well known, the atomization process involves disintegrating a stream of molten metal with a jet of gas, such as compressed air or by mechanical means. Very finely divided particles can be produced by this process that will pass through a standard Tyler 100 mesh screen.

It is an object of this invention to provide articles having a high strength at elevated temperatures which are made from atomized particles of an aluminum base alloy containing beryllium as the principal added alloy component.

Another object is to provide such articles which do not require any preliminary thermal treatment to place them in condition for service at elevated temperatures.

Still another object is to provide an article made from atomized aluminum-beryllium alloy powder that does not depend upon the presence of oxide particles to impart strength at elevated temperatures.

These and other objects are achieved by atomizing a substantially iron-free aluminum base alloy containing not less than 50% aluminum and from 4 to 40% by weight of beryllium as the principal added alloy component, and subsequently consolidating and working a mass of such atomized particles under the influence of heat and pressure. The resultant articles have a density closely approximating that of the alloy if cast; and in the hot worked condition, they have a tensile strength of not less than 8,000 p.s.i. and a minimum yield strength of 7,000 p.s.i. at 600 F. after a 100-hour exposure. These ten sile and yield strength values are to be compared with those of some conventional wrought heat treated aluminum base alloys that have been previously recommended for service at elevated temperatures. For example, a wrought aluminum base alloy nominally composed of aluminum, 12.2% silicon, 1.1% magnesium, 0.9% nickel and 0.9% copper has in the solution heat treated and age hardened condition a tensile strength of only 5,000 p.s.i. and a yield strength of 3,000 p.s.i. after exposure at 600 F. for 100 hours. Under the same exposure conditions a second well-known wrought aluminum base alloy nominally consisting of aluminum,

atent 2.5% copper and 0.3% magnesium when worked, solution heat treated and age hardened, has a tensile strength of 5,500 p.s.i. and a yield strength of 4,500 p.s.i. The aluminumberyllinm powder products can be readily worked under the usual hot working conditions of temperature and pressure employed in fabricating conventional aluminum and aluminum base alloy articles. Furthermore, the hot worked product can be cold Worked to a limited extent, if desired. The fabricated aluminum alloy products can be placed in service without any preliminary thermal treatment. The strength of the wrought powder products at elevated temperatures is not influenced to any significant extent by the oxide film which coats the atomized particles.

The atomized alloy particles are preferably prepared by melting the alloy of the desired composition and projecting it through a suitably designed nozzle with the aid of a compressed gas. The atomizing conditions should be so adjusted that none or only a small proportion of the particles are larger than mesh microns opening) and that the majority of the particles will pass through a 200 mesh screen (74 microns opening). The particles produced in this manner generally have an irregular shape but for the most part are substantially equiaxed in dimensions and have as-cast structure. The aluminum-beryllium constituent in the alloy is very finely divided as a result of the drastic chill associated with the atomization process. The surface of the particles are, of course, oxidized if the atomization has occurred in air or in some other oxidizing atmosphere, however, the oxide skin is very thin and the amount of oxide introduced into the final product is too small to affect the properties thereof to any significant extent.

The beryllium content of the alloy should be between 4 and 40% by weight, as mentioned above, and preferably Within the range of 10 to 30% to obtain the highest strength at elevated temperatures. If less than 4% is employed, .the minimum strength is not achieved and if more than 40% is present, the worked article has insulficient ductility and may fracture under applied stresses. Beryllium is substantially insoluble in aluminum and whatever small proportion may be dissolved is too small to have any significant effect upon the properties of the atomized particles. It will therefore be appreciated that the matrix of the atomized particles consists of aluminum with a dispersion of finely divided aluminum-beryllium constituent distributed throughout the particle. The high strength at elevated temperatures appears to be controlled by the amount of the aluminum-beryllium constituent and the fineness of the dispersion.

The alloy may contain the usual impurities associated with aluminum, for example, silicon and iron. Generally, the silicon impurity should not exceed 0.8% and the iron content should not be more than about 1%. Other impurities, such as copper, should not exceed 0.5%. In view of the relatively small amount of iron impurity permitted in the alloy, the composition is referred to herein as being substantially iron-free.

For some purposes, it may be desirable to add one or more elements selected from the group composed of nickel, cobalt, manganese, titanium, vanadium, zirconium, chromium, and tungsten in amounts of 0.1 to 10% each, the total not exceeding 10%. These elements act as hardeners and, like beryllium, are substantially insoluble in the aluminum matrix. To attain the properties attrib I 2,994,947 e r utable to the aluminum-beryllium constituent, the beryllium content of the alloy should exceed the total amount of any added hardener elements.

To make the wrought article from the atomized powder, the powder may be initially formed into a compact that is subsequently worked or it may be charged directly to a compression chamber such as an extrusion press cylinder and be extruded therefrom after initial consolidation of the mass. The initial compact may be made by heating the powder to a temperature between 700 and 900 F. and applying a sufficient pressure thereto for a long enough period of time to cause at least some consolidation and welding of the atomized particles. Pressures of 200' to 150,000 p.s.i. are satisfactory which are applied for varying periods of time from a minute or less to a few hours. Generally, a longer time is required where low pressures are employed. The compact may be left in the press cylinder and then extruded, or it may be ejected, cooled, scalped, reheated to the hot working temperature and hot worked. In some cases it may be desirable to reheat the compact to temperatures as high as 1150 F. before hot working in order to obtain adequate workability. Where the powder is charged to a compression chamber, it may be initially heated to a temperature between 700 and 900 F. and introduced to the chamber or it may be charged cold and heated within the chamber. Alternatively, it may be heated to an intermediate temperature, then charged to the chamber and brought to the desired temperature. When the powder is to be compacted and immediately extruded, it is generally convenient to compress the powdered mass against a blind die in a press cylinder and then substitute an extrusion die for it to produce the desired extruded shape. Although reference has been made to the extrusion of the powder mass, it is to be understood that it can be subjected to other types of hot working operations, such as rolling, forging or pressing, providing a suitable compact is initially produced. The hot working is preferably performed within the temperature range of 700 to 900 F.

Our invention is illustrated by the following example wherein an aluminum-4.0% beryllium atomized powder was consolidated and the product hot worked. The powder was of a fineness such that approximately 85% passed through a 200 mesh screen and substantially all of the remainder passed through a 100 mesh screen.

The alloy powder was charged to an extrusion press cylinder preheated to 800 F. and compressed against a blind die under a pressure of 100,000 p.s.i. for a period of approximately one minute. In the course of charging and compressing the powder, the temperature of the compact reached 700 F. After the compact was formed it was ejected from the cylinder, cooled to room temperature, scalped, reheated to 850 F., inserted in an extrusion press and extruded into 4 diameter rod. Tensile specimens were cut from the extruded rod and tested without any preliminary thermal treatment, some at room temperature and others at 600 F. after a 100hour expo- 4 sure at that temperature. The tensile properties at both room temperature and at 600 F. are given in Table I below.

It is apparent from the foregoing that the tensile and yield strengths of the alloy were higher at 600 F. than those of the two commercial wrought heat treated alloys mentioned above. It is also noteworthy that the properties reported are those obtained without any preliminary thermal treatment of the worked powder article such as a solution heat treatment, which is an economic advantage.

Having thus described our invention and certain embodiments thereof, we claim:

1. A hot worked aluminum base alloy powder article free from aluminum oxide except as an incidental impurity and having a maximum iron content of 1%, said hot worked alloy powder article being formed from atomized powder of an aluminum base alloy containing at least 50% by weight of aluminum and from 4 to 40% by weight of beryllium as the essential component, the amount of said component exceeding the total quantity of any hardening elements present in the alloy, said alloy being substantially free from elements which form a solid solution with aluminum, except as they occur as impurities, said hot worked article being characterized in the as-worked condition by a tensile strength at 600 F. after a -hour exposure of not less than 8000 p.s.i. and a yield strength of not less than 7000 p.s.i.

2. A hot worked aluminum base a-lloy powder article according to claim 1 wherein the beryllium content is 10 to 30% 3. A hot worked aluminum base alloy powder article according to claim 1 wherein the alloy also contains at least one hardening element selected from the group consisting of nickel, cobalt, manganese, titanium, vanadium, zirconium, chromium and tungsten in amounts of 0.1 to 10% by weight of each, the total not exceeding 10% by weight, the beryllium content of said alloy exceeding the amount of hardening elements added thereto.

Gregory et al.: Journal of Metals, vol. 6, pp. 247- 252, February 1954.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2796660 *May 16, 1955Jun 25, 1957Aluminium Ind AgMethod for the production of light metal articles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4715893 *Apr 4, 1984Dec 29, 1987Allied CorporationAluminum-iron-vanadium alloys having high strength at elevated temperatures
US4743299 *Mar 12, 1986May 10, 1988Olin CorporationCermet substrate with spinel adhesion component
US4743317 *Jul 19, 1984May 10, 1988Allied CorporationAluminum-transition metal alloys having high strength at elevated temperatures
US4793967 *Dec 31, 1987Dec 27, 1988Olin CorporationCermet substrate with spinel adhesion component
US4805686 *May 15, 1987Feb 21, 1989Allied-Signal Inc.An apparatus for forming aluminum-transition metal alloys having high strength at elevated temperatures
US5744254 *May 24, 1995Apr 28, 1998Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.Composite materials including metallic matrix composite reinforcements
US5854966 *Aug 12, 1997Dec 29, 1998Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.Method of producing composite materials including metallic matrix composite reinforcements
U.S. Classification75/249, 419/28, 419/48, 420/552, 75/950, 420/528, 420/550
International ClassificationC22C1/04
Cooperative ClassificationC22C1/0416, Y10S75/95
European ClassificationC22C1/04B1