Title:
Process of making alloy fibers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to fine metallic alloy fibers and the process of making the fine metallic alloy fiber comprising the steps of forming a first and a second metallic alloy component into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process. The composite is drawn to provide a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components. A portion of one of the first and second alloy components is removed to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for producing a desired metallic alloy. The fine composite fiber is heated for converting the remainder of the first and second metallic alloy components into the desired metallic alloy to provide the fine metallic alloy fiber.



Inventors:
Quick, Nathaniel R. (Lake Mary, FL, US)
Liberman, Michael (Deland, FL, US)
Murray, Michael C. (Eustis, FL, US)
Application Number:
09/927199
Publication Date:
08/15/2002
Filing Date:
08/09/2001
Assignee:
USF Filtration & Separations Group, Inc. (Timonium, MD)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B21C37/04; B21C37/16; B22F1/00; B32B15/01; C22C1/02; C22C30/00; C22C38/06; (IPC1-7): C23C10/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WYSZOMIERSKI, GEORGE P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN M. BELZ, ESQ. (LEYDIG, VOIT & MAYER 700 13TH STREET,NW, SUITE 300, WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. The process of making a fine metallic alloy fiber, comprising the steps of: forming a first and a second metallic alloy component into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process; drawing the composite to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from the fine composite fiber to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber for producing the desired metallic alloy; and heating the fine composite fiber for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber into the desired metallic alloy to provide a fine metallic alloy fiber.

2. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite comprises forming the first and second metallic alloy components into a coaxial composite.

3. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite comprises inserting the first metallic alloy component within a longitudinal aperture defined in the second metallic alloy component to form a coaxial composite.

4. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite comprises inserting the first metallic alloy component within a longitudinal aperture defined in the second metallic alloy component to form a coaxial composite; and inserting the coaxially composite formed form the first and second metallic alloy components within a longitudinal aperture defined in a third metallic alloy component to form a triaxial composite.

5. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite comprises inserting the first metallic alloy component within a longitudinal aperture defined in the second metallic alloy component to form a coaxial composite; inserting the coaxially composite formed form the first and second metallic alloy components within a longitudinal aperture defined in a third metallic alloy component to form a triaxial composite with the third alloy metallic component being identical to the first metallic alloy component.

6. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite includes forming the first and second metallic alloy components into a triaxial composite with the first metallic alloy component being a central component and an outer component and with the second metallic alloy component being an intermediate component of the triaxial composite.

7. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of forming the first and second metallic alloy components into the composite includes forming the composite form a first metallic alloy component and a second preformed metallic alloy component.

8. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of drawing the composite includes successively drawing and annealing the composite to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide the fine composite fiber.

9. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of removing a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from the fine composite fiber includes chemically removing the portion of one of the first and second alloy components to adjust the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber to be in accordance with the volumetric relationship required by the desired metallic alloy.

10. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of heating the fine composite fiber includes heating the fine composite fiber in an specialized atmosphere for converting the first and second metallic alloy components into the desired metallic alloy to provide a fine metallic alloy fiber.

11. The process of making fine metallic alloy fibers, comprising the steps of: forming a first and a second metallic alloy component into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process; drawing the composite to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide a fine composite wire formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; cladding the fine composite wires with a first cladding material to provide a first cladding; assembling an array of the first claddings; cladding the array of the first claddings with a second cladding material to provide a second cladding; drawing the second cladding to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide an array of fine first claddings with each of the fine first claddings containing a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing the second cladding material to provide a first remainder comprising the array of fine first claddings with the fine composite fibers located therein; removing the first cladding material to provide a second remainder comprising the array of fine composite fibers formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing only a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from each of the array of fine composite fibers to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for each of the fine composite fibers within the array for producing a desired metallic alloy; and heating the array of the fine composite fibers for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within of each of the fine composite fibers into the desired metallic alloy to provide an array of fine metallic alloy fibers.

12. The process of making fine alloy fibers, comprising the steps of: providing a first metallic alloy component in the form of a wire; providing a second metallic alloy component in the form of a tube having a longitudinal extending aperture; selecting the physical dimensions of the first and the second metallic alloy components primarily on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing process and secondarily upon the proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components required for producing a desired metallic alloy; inserting the first metallic alloy component within the longitudinal aperture defined in the second metallic alloy component to form a coaxial composite; drawing the coaxial composite to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide a fine composite wire formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; cladding the fine composite wires with a first cladding material to provide a first cladding; assembling an array of the first claddings; cladding the array of the first claddings with a second cladding material to provide a second cladding; drawing the second cladding to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide an array of fine first claddings with each of the fine first claddings containing a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing the second cladding material to provide a first remainder comprising the array of fine first claddings with the fine composite fibers located therein; removing the first cladding material to provide a second remainder comprising the array of fine composite fibers formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing only a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from each of the array of fine composite fibers to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for each of the fine composite fibers within the array for producing a desired metallic alloy; and heating the array of the fine composite fibers for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within of each of the fine composite fibers into the desired metallic alloy to provide an array of fine metallic alloy fibers.

13. The process of making a fine metallic alloy fiber, comprising the steps of: forming a first and a second metallic alloy component into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process; drawing the composite to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components; removing a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from the fine composite fiber to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber for producing the desired metallic alloy; applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components; and heating the fine composite fiber for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber into the desired metallic alloy to provide a fine metallic alloy fiber.

14. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 13, wherein the step of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components includes applying an isostatic gas pressure to the first and second alloy components simultaneously with the heating of the first and second alloy components.

15. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 13, wherein the step of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components includes applying an isostatic gas pressure to the first and second alloy components.

16. The process of making a fine alloy fiber as set forth in claim 13, wherein the step of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components includes applying an isostatic argon gas pressure to the first and second alloy components.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to metallic alloys, and more particularly to an improved process of making continuous fine metallic alloy fibers.

[0003] 2. Information Disclosure Statement

[0004] Some alloy wires have very low deductility which makes these alloy wires very difficult or impossible to draw the alloy wires to produce alloy fibers by a wire drawing process. Typically, these alloy are high temperature resistance alloys containing intermetallic compounds.

[0005] A novel approach to producing alloy fibers was to provide a composite material of a first and a second metal material and draw the metal materials in unison through the mechanical drawing process. After the mechanical drawing process was completed, the first and second metals were heated to convert the metals into a metal alloy. The wire drawing process was continued until the composite materials had the appearance of fibers. Although this process works remarkably well for some instances, the process produces unsatisfactory results in other instances.

[0006] In the wire drawing process, certain physical parameters must be maintained in order to provide a proper geometry for the wire drawing process. For example, the physical geometry of the cross-section of the composite materials should approach a circular cross-section with the minimum amount of voids therein. Secondly, the more ductile material should be placed on the inside of the circular cross-section of the composite during the wire drawing process. And thirdly, the chemical arrangement and requirements for the first and second metals to make an alloy may not be the same arrangement to provide the proper geometry for the wire drawing process. Accordingly, there is a first optimum geometric relationship between the first and second materials for providing a proper geometry for a wire drawing process. There is a second optimum relationship between the first and second metals for producing an alloy material upon conversion of the first and second materials. Typically, the first optimum is not equivalent to the second optimum. Accordingly, one would have to follow the proper chemical arrangement during the drawing process thereby producing unsatisfactory fibers during the drawing process.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 1,441,686 to Jones discloses a metal electrode for use in depositing and soldering by the electric arc, comprising a rod formed of a suitable base metal and a covering of a metal or metals intimately united with the base metal, as set forth.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 2,050,298 to Everett discloses a method for producing filaments from a rod, which comprises the steps of bundling the rods side by side in a matrix, drawing the bundle, removing the matrix, and separating the wires. The matrix serves to separate the elements, limiting distortion during drawing and preventing adjacent elements from becoming attached to each other. Two embodiments of matrix material given are metal powder and individual metal sheaths, or a combination of the two. The sheath may be dissolved off with acid. An example given consisted of stainless steel fibers having a copper matrix and a tubular casing of high carbon steel, the removal of which was effected by a hot acid bath. An alternative method for stainless steel fibers consisted of encasing the fibers in separate copper tubes and then packing a number of these in a copper tube.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 2,077,682 discloses a process for the production of fine wires, strips, thin sheets or the like by reduction from elements of larger cross-section. The process comprises assembling inside a tubular casing a plurality of metal elements composed of alloy steel comprising 0.05% to 0.20% carbon, 6% to 14% nickel and 10% to 20% chromium. The encased elements were subjected to a reducing operation to reduce the cross-section area of all the elements, simultaneously, and then removing the casing.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 2,679,683 to Luther, Jr. discloses a highly porous metal element of the class described, consisting of a porous cuprous alloy skeleton having copper as its major component and including completely separated ferrous particles interspersed through said skeleton, each of said ferrous particles being completely coated with and fully separated by said cuprous alloy wherein said ferrous particles make up from 84 to 90.5% by weight of the element, said element being formed from non-compacted ferrous particles wherein each particle includes an inner layer of copper and an outer layer of a lower melting point metal readily alloyable with copper and sintered at a temperature above the melting point of the readily alloyable metal and below the melting point of copper for forming the cuprous alloy in situ during the sintering operation.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 2,947,069 to Carlson et al discloses an elongated, highly worked wrought wire member comprising an elongated core of copper, a continuous barrier layer of silver of an average thickness of at least 0.0001 inch applied to and bonded to the surface of the copper core, and a relatively thin sheath of aluminum covering and bonded to the layer of silver, said aluminum comprising from 5% to 20% of the cross-sectional area of the wire, the composite structure of copper core, layer of silver and the sheath of aluminum having been subjected to a high reduction in area to metallurgically bond them together.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 3,066,384 discloses a method of making from 80″ wide to 160″ wide thin sheets of a metal which is difficult to roll selected from the group consisting of stainless steel, ferrous alloys, titanium, zirconium and their alloys, which consists in assembling a pack of plates of the metal with weld-preventing material therebetween, placing the pack within a box welded up from steel top and bottom plates and steel side and end bars with the top and bottom plates overlapping the side and end bars, providing vent holes in all of the bars, hot rolling the resulting pack-in-a-box first by cross rolling and then by rolling longitudinally, thereby reducing the first-mentioned plates to sheets, then subjecting the sheets while still confined within the box to heating and cooling stages in predetermined order thereby developing desired physical properties in the sheets, roller leveling the hot-rolled pack while still in the box, and then opening the box and removing and separating the sheets.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 3,204,326 discloses a method of making a fused energy-conducting structure having a multiplicity of juxtaposed long and thin energy-conducting guides extending from one end toward the other end thereof utilizing a rolling mill, the method comprising the steps of placing a multiplicity of energy-conducting fibers each clad with a glass having a relatively low softening temperature and coefficient of expansion in side-by-side bundled relationship longitudinally within a tubular supporting member formed of a metal having a substantially higher softening temperature and coefficient of expansion than the glass, the fibers being in such number and of such diameter as to substantially fill the supporting member, there being undesired interstices containing air and gases extending longitudinally between the fibers, heating the assembly of the supporting member and fibers to a temperature sufficient to soften and fuse claddings together and rolling the heated assembly under compression progressively from one end toward the other end thereof to a reduced cross-sectional size, the reduction in size being of an amount at least sufficient to effect substantially complete closure of the interstices progressively along the length of the assembly and simultaneous longitudinal extrusion of air and gases therein immediately prior to adjoining and fusion of portions of the claddings along the interstices as the assembly is rolled.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 3,277,564 discloses a method of forming a tow of substantially bare filaments comprising the steps of sheathing each of a plurality of elongated drawable metal elements from which the filaments are to be formed with a tubular sheath formed of a material having characteristics permitting the sheaths to be pressed together to form a substantially monolithic body and differing chemically substantially from those of the elements to permit separation of the sheath material from elements. The sheathed elements are bundled in a substantially parallel relationship. The bundled sheathed elements are mechanically worked in at least one working step to reduce the cross-section of the elements to a preselected filament cross-section of less than approximately 10 microns maximum transverse dimension and to cause the sheath material to form a matrix extending substantially continuously in cross-section thereby to preclude separation of individual sheathed filaments. The sheathing material is substantially completely removed while maintaining the filaments in bundled relationship to provide a tow of substantially bare separate filaments.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 3,375,569 to Eichinger et al teaches a method of making porous structures comprising the steps of winding a first row of wire on a winding support, the row having a large number of wire turns therein and having a predetermined pitch, winding subsequent rows of wire on the first row with each subsequent row having the same pitch as the first row so that each of the wire turns contacts substantially all of the immediately adjacent ones of the wire turns, bonding each of the turns to substantially all of its adjacent turns, and cutting sections from the turns generally transversely of the winding direction, the sections corresponding in thickness to the desired thickness of the porous structures.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 3,378,916 discloses a method of process for the production of superconducting niobium-zirconium alloy wire comprising heat-treating a niobium-zirconium material containing a second phase constituent and having a substantially non-dendritic refined crystal structure substantially free of high concentrations of impurities, in a temperature range of 1000-1250 C. under an inert condition for 30-120 minutes, whereby the second phase is placed in solution with the material. The process includes quenching the material as quickly as possible to retain the second-phase constituents in solution and working the material at a temperature below 500 C. to reduce its cross section and remove any surface defects which may be present. The material is heat-treated at a temperature in the range of 750 C. -825 C. under inert conditions for 15-130 minutes and is enclosed within a sheath of different material having substantially similar working properties to the material regarding ductility, rate of work-hardening and hardness. The material is deformed within the sheath together to the required final cross-section of the material. The sheath is dissolved and the material is plated with copper.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 3,394,213 discloses a method of forming fine filaments, such as filaments of under approximately 15 microns, in long lengths wherein a plurality of sheathed elements are firstly constricted to form a reduced diameter billet by means of hot forming the bundled filaments. After the hot forming constriction, the billet is then drawn to the final size wherein the filaments have the desired final small diameter. The material surrounding the filaments is then removed by suitable means leaving the filaments in the form of a tow.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 3,497,425 to Cotton et al. discloses a process for making electrodes having a rough or porous surface that includes coating the core of an electrode with a relatively insoluble metal and a more easily soluble metal and subsequently removing the more soluble metal. Preferably the relatively insoluble metal is first coated on the core with or without the second coating of the more soluble metal. The coated core is heat treated to diffuse the relatively insoluble metal at least partly into the core before removing the more soluble metal.

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 3,503,200 to Roberts et al. provides a method of forming a twisted bundle of filaments wherein a plurality of sheathed filaments are bundled together, sheathed or embedded in a matrix, and constricted by being drawn through a constricting die. Then the bundle is fed onto a roll, with a twist imparted to the filaments at the same time.

[0020] U.S. Pat. No. 3,540,114 discloses a method of forming fine filaments formed of a material such as metal by multiple ends drawing a plurality of elongated elements having thereon a thin film of lubricant material. The plurality of elements may be bundled in a tubular sheath formed of a drawable material. The lubricant may be applied to the individual elements prior to the bundling thereof and may be provided by applying the lubricant to the elements while they are being individually drawn through a coating mechanism such as a drawing die. The lubricant comprises a material capable of forming a film having a high tenacity characteristic whereby the film is maintained under the extreme pressure conditions of the drawing process. Upon completion of the constricting operation, the tubular sheath is removed. If removed, the lubricant may also be removed from the resultant filaments.

[0021] U.S. Pat. No. 3,550,247 discloses carbon filaments being coated with a metal by electrodeposition, electroless plating or chemical plating. Preferably the carbon filaments are subjected to an oxidizing treatment under strong oxidizing conditions before being coated with the metal. Metal coated filaments are incorporated in the metal matrix by electroforming, powder technology techniques, casting or by subjecting the coated filaments to a combination of heat and pressure to coalesce them into a composite material.

[0022] U.S. Pat. No. 3,596,349 discloses a method of fabricating a unitary superconducting multistrand conductor. The method includes coating a plurality of fine super-conducting wires with a normal metal having ductility characteristics similar with those of the superconducting metal, assembling the coated wires in a close-packed array, and swagging the array so that the metal coatings of the wires form a conductive continuous matrix in which the wires are solidly embedded.

[0023] U.S. Pat. No. 3,729,294 to Hibbs, Jr. discloses the surface of a copper body that may, for example, be a coating, foil or wire, is provided with a zinc coating. The zinc coating is diffused into the copper surface to form an alloy surface zone that protects and preserves the properties of materials such as polymers and carbon that ordinarily degrade when contacted with copper.

[0024] U.S. Pat. No. 3,729,794 to Douglas discloses refractory metal powder compacts sintered and impregnated with a softer metal. The compacts are reduced to rod, wire or sheet. In the process fine fibers of the metal powder are formed.

[0025] U.S. Pat. No. 3,762,025 discloses a process for producing long continuous lengths of metallic filaments which comprises securing four flat plates of a first metal to each of the elongated sides of a billet of a second metal and having a cross section in shape of a rectangle, by edge welding each of the plates. The resulting assembly is essentially void free. The rectangular cross section of the billet is reduced while being elongated by hot rolling. The resulting elongated rectangular structure, having a core of the second metal and a cladding of the first metal over the elongated sides, is divided into a plurality of elements of the same lengths. The elements are inserted into a hollow metal tube open at both ends having a rectangular cross section in a manner to essentially eliminate the voids and with their longitudinal axes and the longitudinal axis of the tube essentially parallel. Ends of the tube are sealed and the sealed unit is reduced in cross section and elongated by hot rolling. The other materials are removed from the resulting filaments of the first metal yielding materials suitable for weaving into metal cloth.

[0026] U.S. Pat. No. 3,785,036 discloses a method of producing fine metallic filaments by covering a bundle of a plurality of metallic wires with an outer tube metal and drawing the resultant composite wire, wherein the outer tube metal on both sides of the final composite wire obtained after the drawing step is cut near to the core filaments present inside the outer tube and then both uncut surfaces of the composite wire are slightly rolled thereby to divide the outer tube metal of the composite wire continuously and thus separating the outer tube metal from fine metallic filaments.

[0027] U.S. Pat. No. 3,807,026 discloses a method of producing a yarn of fine metallic filaments at low cost, which comprises covering a bundle of a plurality of metal wires with an outer tube metal to form a composite wire, drawing the composite wire and then separating the outer tube metal from the core filaments in the composite wire, wherein for ease of the separation treatment, the surfaces of the metal wires are coated with a suitable separator or subjected to a suitable surface treatment before the covering of the outer tube metal, thereby to prevent the metallic bonding of the core filaments to each other in the subsequent drawing or heat-treatment of the composite wire.

[0028] U.S. Pat. No. 3,894,675 to Klebl et al discloses a copper clad steel wire being continuously produced by forming a copper sheet into a tube around the wire and welding the copper tube, at the edges, to produce a longitudinal seam. The diameter of the welded copper tube is reduced to the diameter of the wire, and the composite heated to a temperature of at least 850 C., at which temperature the cross sectional area of the composite wire is reduced by at least 10 percent to bond the copper to the steel wire.

[0029] U.S. Pat. No. 3,945,555 to Schmidt discloses a manufacturing process for a solid or hollow shaft consisting of aluminum or titanium with beryllium reinforcing therein. Beryllium rods are either clad with aluminum or titanium or, in the alternative, holes are drilled in an aluminum or titanium block which beryllium material is thereafter inserted into the holes. The preform with a hard steel central mandrel around which the beryllium rods are positioned is placed within a steel can and heated to a predetermined temperature. Pressure is then uniformly applied to the outer circumference of the can to ensure uniform deformation of the beryllium reinforcement. The uniform exterior pressure on the outer surfaces of the beryllium rods and the interior pressure on these rods caused by the hard steel mandrel against the under surfaces of the rods as a result of a reduction process causes the beryllium rods to assume an arcuate ribbon configuration. For hollow shafting, the mandrel at the center of the preform may later be removed.

[0030] U.S. Pat. No. 4,044,447 discloses a number of wires gathered together and bound with an armoring material in the shape of a band. The wires in this condition are drawn by means of a wire drawing apparatus having dies and a capstan. A plurality of bundles of such wires are gathered together and bound in the same way as in the foregoing to form a composite bundle body, which is further drawn, and these processes are repeated until at least filaments of a specific diameter are obtained in quantities.

[0031] U.S. Pat. No. 4,065,046 discloses a collimated hole structure formed by constricting a plurality of tubular elements each provided with a core for supporting the tubular element during the constricting operation. The bundle of elements is constricted to a point where the elements effectively fuse into a substantially monolithic body. The cores are removed leaving a plurality of extremely small diameter, generally parallel passages in a solid body. The tubular elements may be arranged in any desired array, and thus the passages may be provided similarly in any desired array. The passages may have high aspect ratios and may be closely juxtaposed. In one illustrative application, the collimated hole structure is provided with dielectric film and utilized as an anode portion of an electrolytic capacitor. In another illustrative application, the collimated hole structure is utilized as a tip for a drilling device.

[0032] U.S. Pat. No. 4,109,870 to Wolber discloses a multiorifice structure and a method of making the multiorifice structure. The structure is made by fusing a plurality of parallel rods in a regular geometric pattern. The interstices between the fused rods form a plurality of small orifices of a noncircular configuration which are ideally suited for atomizing a pressurized fluid. In the preferred embodiment, the multiorifice structure is a fuel atomizer for atomizing the fuel ejected from an automotive type fuel injection valve.

[0033] U.S. Pat. No. 4,118,845 discloses a method of forming a tow of filaments and the two formed by the method wherein a bundle of elongated elements such as rods or wires, is clad by forming a sheath of material different from that of the elements about the bundle and the bundle is subsequently drawn to constrict the elements to a desired small diameter. The elements may be formed of metal. The bundle may be annealed, or stress relieved, between drawing steps as desired. The sheath may be formed of metal and may have juxtaposed edges thereof welded together to retain the assembly. The sheath is removed from the final constricted bundle to free the filaments in the form of tow.

[0034] U.S. Pat. No. 4,156,500 to Yoshida et al teaches a method of producing a copper clad steel wire comprising the steps of preparing a 5 to 15 mm diameter steel rod and a 21 to 66.7 mm width copper tape; continuously supplying the steel rod and the copper tape separately and cleaning the surfaces thereof; forming the copper tape in tubular form such that the copper tape can cover the steel rod while supplying the steel rod and the copper tape in parallel, and welding the edges of the copper tape in a non-oxidizing atmosphere; sinking the tubular copper tape sufficiently for the copper tape to substantially come into contact with the steel rod to form a copper clad steel rod; cold-drawing the copper clad steel rod and/or hot working the clad rod at a temperature of 400 C. to 800 C. to reduce its cross-sectional area by more than 20%; and then annealing the copper clad steel rod at a temperature of 300? to 1050? C.

[0035] U.S. Pat. No. 4,166,564 to Wolber discloses a multiorifice structure and a method of making the multiorifice structure. The structure is made by fusing a plurality of parallel rods stacked in a regular geometric pattern. The interstices between the fused rods form a plurality of small orifices of a noncircular configuration which are ideally suited for atomizing a pressurized fluid. In the preferred embodiment, the multiorifice structure is a fuel atomizer for atomizing the fuel ejected from an automotive type fuel injection valve.

[0036] U.S. Pat. No. 4,292,208 to Baldi et al. discloses a diffusion metal substrate coated with a different metal such as aluminum and zinc. The diffusion metal substrate is chemically removed from the coated substrate, provides the residual metal with a very desirable catalytic surface. At least about a third of the removable metal can be dissolved out. Platinum wire screens activated in this way make effective exhaust catalysts for automotive engines. Chromium rich coating for protective purposes can be applied on a super alloy, diffusion coating in a pack that in addition to the chromium to be diffused, also contains at least about 3% Ni3Al. Also the formation of alpha chromium is reduced when the pack diffusion is carried out in a retort effectively not over five inches in height. Pack aluminizing in the presence of chromium makes a very effective aluminum and chromium containing top coating over platinum plated or platinum coated nickel base super alloys. Depletion of diffusable material from workpiece heated in a powder pack can also provide a surface on which aluminizing produces a highly impact resistance coating.

[0037] U.S. Pat. No. 4,605,598 to Thomas et al. discloses a perfectly ductile hard steel wire having superposed coatings resisting corrosion. The wire is coated with a first inner layer Al (Al—Fe—Zn) and a second outer layer A2(Zn—Al—Fe) and the first inner coating layer has the following composition (1) Al between 15% and 45% (2) Fe between 5% and 25% (3) Zn forming the balance with elements of addition in a small amount, such as Mg, Sn, Ni, Cu, Cr and Mischmetal, the total amount of which does not exceed 0.5%. This wire has a resistance to corrosion very much higher than that of conventional galvanized wires and that of similar Zn—Al coatings which had been deposited in a single stage.

[0038] U.S. Pat. No. 4,686,153 to Tominaga et al. discloses an electrode wire for wire electric discharge machining a workpiece at high speed and high accuracy and a process for preparing the same are provided. The electrode wire comprises a core wire made of a copper clad steel wire, 10 to 70% of the sectional area of the copper clad steel wire being occupied by copper, and a copper-zinc alloy layer covering the core wire. The copper-zinc alloy layer is prepared by coating the core wire with zinc by electroplating or hot galvanizing, followed by heating to disperse copper in the zinc layer to convert the same into a copper-zinc alloy layer wherein the concentration of zinc is increased gradually along the radially outward direction. The preferable thickness of the copper-zinc alloy layer ranges from 0.1 to 15 microns and the average concentration of zinc in the copper-zinc alloy layer is preferably less than 50% by weight but not less than 10% by weight.

[0039] U.S. Pat. No. 4,849,288 to Schmaderer et al. discloses a superconducting fiber of a superconducting fiber bundle that includes a carrier fiber having an outer surface, and superconducting layers and separating layers alternatingly surrounding the outer surface of the carrier fiber and a method for producing the same.

[0040] U.S. Pat. No. 4,925,741 to Wong discloses a getter wire made by wrapping alternate layers of getter metal and refractory metal around an ingot of refractory metal. The composite ingot thus formed is reduced to wire, preferably by extrusion and drawing. The multi layers of refractory and getter metals can then be heated to form an alloy of the two metals from which the getter is evaporated during use. A preferred combination is tantalum as refractory and titanium as getter.

[0041] U.S. Pat. No. 5,426,000 to Labib et al. discloses a fiber-reinforced titanium alloy and intermetallic matrix composites having improved stability and tensile strength properties at elevated temperatures. The base reinforced fibers are pre-coated with a tailorable trilayer coating, such at Ti—TiN—Ti. Preferably the TiN layer is graded so as to have metal-rich outer surfaces such as titanium-rich TiN, providing excellent bonding affinity for the base titanium layer, bonded to the surface of the fibers, such as silicon carbide, and for the outer titanium layer, bonded to the titanium aluminum matrix, and a compound core, such as stoichiometric TiN, providing a stable interfacial barrier against chemical reactions, whereby the tensile strength and resistance to cracking of the composite is preserved even at elevated temperatures of 900 C. or higher.

[0042] U.S. Pat. No. RE 28,526 to Ziemek discloses a copper band formed around an aluminum core wire and the single seam in the sheath material is welded without bonding of the sheath and core, care being taken that all surfaces are clean and maintained free of oxides. The copper tube is reduced to the diameter of the aluminum core. This composite wire is then passed through a plurality of drawing dies which reduce the diameter of the wire, preferably at least 50 percent, care being taken to prevent the copper sheath from tearing. The drawing operation produces, depending on the reduction rate, an initial or a complete bond between the core and sheath. Subsequently, the clad wire is either subjected to a limited diffusion heat treatment, conditions of the heat treatment being controlled to produce a complete and flawless bond between the sheath and core but, at the same time, avoiding the formation of an CuAl2, a phase which is brittle or is annealed to get the required grade. Generally, the diffusion layer on either side of the sheath-core interface is limited to about 10C.

[0043] Therefore it is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and a process of making alloy fibers wherein a first and second metallic alloy component may be optimized in geometry for purposes of a drawing process and thereafter optimized for purposes forming an alloy prior to converting the first and second metallic alloy components into the alloy.

[0044] Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus and a process of making alloy fibers wherein the diameters and arrangement of the first and second metallic alloy components are selected to provide the proper geometry for a drawing process.

[0045] Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus and a process of making alloy fibers incorporating a chemical removal process for removing a portion of one of the alloy components for providing the properties of the first and second alloy components for forming the alloy therefrom.

[0046] Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus and a process of making alloy fibers that is capable of providing fine and ultra-fine alloy fibers in commercial quantities.

[0047] The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the present invention. These objects should be construed as being merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the invention. Many other beneficial results can be obtained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or modifying the invention within the scope of the invention. Accordingly other objects in a full understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the summary of the invention, the detailed description describing the preferred embodiment in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0048] The present invention is defined by the appended claims with specific embodiments being shown in the attached drawings. For the purpose of summarizing the invention, the invention relates to fine metallic alloy fiber and the process of making the fine metallic alloy fiber comprising the steps of forming a first and a second metallic alloy components into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process. The composite is drawn to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components. A portion of one of the first and second alloy components is removed from the fine composite fiber to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber for producing a desired metallic alloy. The fine composite fiber is heated for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber into the desired metallic alloy to provide a fine metallic alloy fiber.

[0049] An important aspect of the present invention is the relationship between the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components required for drawing and the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components required for producing the desired metallic alloy. The volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components is selected primarily on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing process and secondarily upon the proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components required for producing the desired metallic alloy. After the drawing process is completed, a portion of one of the first and second alloy components is removed to adjust the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components to be in accordance with the volumetric relationship required for producing the desired metallic alloy.

[0050] In a more specific embodiment of the invention, the first and second metallic alloy components are formed into a coaxial composite. The coaxial composite may be formed by inserting the first metallic alloy component within a longitudinally aperture defined in the second metallic alloy component. In another example of the invention, the coaxial composite is inserted within a longitudinally aperture defined in a third metallic alloy component to form a triaxial composite. The first and third metallic alloy components may be similar or dissimilar depending upon the desired metallic alloy. In another embodiment of the invention, the one of the first and second metallic alloy components may be a preformed metallic alloy.

[0051] In a more specific embodiment of the invention, the step of drawing the composite includes successively drawing and annealing the composite to reduce the cross-section of the composite to provide the fine composite fiber.

[0052] In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a portion of one of the first and second alloy components is chemically removed from the fine composite fiber. The chemical removal of a portion of one of the first and second alloy components from the fine composite fiber adjusts the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber. The volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components within the fine composite fiber can be made in accordance with the volumetric relationship required by the desired metallic alloy.

[0053] In one embodiment of the invention, an array of fine alloy fibers is simultaneously made through a multiple cladding process. The first and second metallic alloy components are formed into a composite having a physical configuration suitable for a drawing process. The composite is drawn to reduce the cross-section to provide a fine composite wire formed from the first and second metallic alloy components. The fine composite wires are clad with a first cladding material to provide a first cladding. An array of the first claddings is assembled and is clad with a second cladding material to provide a second cladding. The second cladding is drawn to reduce the cross-section thereof to provide an array of fine first claddings with each of the fine first claddings containing a fine composite fiber formed from the first and second metallic alloy components. The second cladding material is removed to provide a first remainder comprising the array of fine first claddings with the fine composite fibers located therein. The first cladding material is removed to provide a second remainder comprising the array of fine composite fibers formed from the first and second metallic alloy components. A portion of one of the first and second alloy components is removed from each of the fine composite fibers to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for each of the fine composite fibers within the array for producing a desired metallic alloy. The array of fine composite fibers is heated for converting the first and second metallic alloy components within of each of the fine composite fibers into the desired metallic alloy to provide an array of fine metallic alloy fibers.

[0054] The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the more pertinent and important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description that follows may be better understood so that the present contribution to the art can be more fully appreciated. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated that the conception and the specific embodiments disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It also should be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0055] For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0056] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a first process for making a fine metallic alloy fiber;

[0057] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a first and a second metallic alloy component disposed in a coaxial arrangement referred to in the first process shown in FIG. 1;

[0058] FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the first and second metallic alloy components of FIG. 2 after a drawing process to form a fine composite fiber from the first and second metallic alloy components;

[0059] FIG. 4 is a magnified end view of FIG. 3;

[0060] FIG. 5 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 4 after removing a portion of the second alloy component to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for producing the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0061] FIG. 6 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 4 after the application of heat to convert the first and second metallic alloy components into the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0062] FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a second process for making a fine metallic alloy fiber;

[0063] FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a first, a second and a third metallic alloy component disposed in a triaxial arrangement referred to in the second process shown in FIG. 7;

[0064] FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the first, second and third metallic alloy components of FIG. 7 after a drawing process to form a fine composite fiber from the first, second and third metallic alloy components;

[0065] FIG. 10 is a magnified end view of FIG. 9;

[0066] FIG. 11 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 10 after removing a portion of the third alloy component to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first, second and third metallic alloy components for producing the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0067] FIG. 12 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 11 after the application of heat to convert the first, second and third metallic alloy components into the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0068] FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating a third process for simultaneously making an array of fine metallic alloy fibers;

[0069] FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a first metallic alloy component referred to in the third process of FIG. 13;

[0070] FIG. 14A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 14;

[0071] FIG. 15 is an isometric view of the first and second metallic alloy components disposed in a coaxial arrangement referred to in the third process of FIG. 13;

[0072] FIG. 15A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 15;

[0073] FIG. 16 is an isometric view of the first and second metallic alloy component disposed in a tightened coaxial arrangement to form a composite;

[0074] FIG. 16A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 16;

[0075] FIG. 17 is an isometric view of the composite of FIG. 16 after a first drawing process;

[0076] FIG. 17A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 17;

[0077] FIG. 18 is an isometric view of the composite of FIG. 17 after a first cladding process;

[0078] FIG. 18A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 18;

[0079] FIG. 19 is an isometric view of the an assembly of the first clad composites of FIG. 18;

[0080] FIG. 19A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 19;

[0081] FIG. 20 is an isometric view of the assembly of the first clad composites of FIG. 19 after a second cladding process;

[0082] FIG. 20A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 20;

[0083] FIG. 21 is an isometric view of the second clad of FIG. 20 after a second drawing process;

[0084] FIG. 21A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 21;

[0085] FIG. 22 is a magnified view of a portion of FIG. 21;

[0086] FIG. 23 is a view similar to FIG. 22 after removal of the second cladding;

[0087] FIG. 24 is a view similar to FIG. 23 after removal of the first cladding;

[0088] FIG. 24A is a magnified view of a portion of FIG. 24;

[0089] FIG. 25 is a view similar to FIG. 24 after removing a portion of the second alloy component to provide a proper volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components for producing the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0090] FIG. 25A is a magnified view of a portion of FIG. 25; and

[0091] FIG. 26 is a view similar to FIG. 25 after the application of heat to convert the first and second metallic alloy components into the desired metallic alloy fiber;

[0092] FIG. 27A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a fourth example of a first and a second metallic alloy component prior to the conversion process;

[0093] FIG. 27B is a view similar to FIG. 27A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components after the conversion process;

[0094] FIG. 28A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a fifth example of a first and a second metallic alloy component prior to the conversion process;

[0095] FIG. 28B is a view similar to FIG. 28A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components after the conversion process;

[0096] FIG. 29A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a sixth example of a first, a second and a third metallic alloy component prior to the conversion process;

[0097] FIG. 29B is a view similar to FIG. 29A illustrating the first, second and third metallic alloy components after the conversion process;

[0098] FIG. 30A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a seventh example of a first and a second metallic alloy component prior to the conversion process;

[0099] FIG. 30B is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components after the conversion process illustrating voids formed in the alloy;

[0100] FIG. 30C is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components being subjected to an isostatic pressure during the conversion process; and

[0101] FIG. 30D is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components after the isostatic conversion process illustrating minimal voids formed in the alloy.

[0102] Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several Figures of the drawings.

DETAILED DISCUSSION

[0103] FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a first process 10 for making a metallic alloy 25 such as a fine metallic alloy fiber 27. The first process 10 of FIG. 1 comprises providing a first and a second metallic alloy component 30 and 40. The first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 are selected to be the proper metallic alloy components 30 and 40 to create a desired metallic alloy 25.

[0104] FIGS. 2-6 are various views of a first example of the process 10 of FIG. 1 illustrating the process of making a metallic alloy from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. In this example of the invention, the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 are formed in a coaxial relationship.

[0105] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the first and the second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 referred to in FIG. 1. In this example, the first metallic alloy component 30 is shown as a solid component having an outer diameter 30D and a volume per unit length of 30V.

[0106] The second metallic alloy component 40 is shown as a tube having an outer diameter 40D, an inner diameter 40d and a volume per unit length of 40V. A longitudinally extending aperture 42 defines the inner diameter 40d. Preferably, the inner diameter 40d of the second metallic alloy component 40 is greater than the outer diameter 30D of the first metallic alloy component 30 for enabling the first metallic alloy component 30 to be received within the second metallic alloy component 40.

[0107] An important aspect of the first process 10 of the present invention is the volumetric relationship between the volume per unit length 30V of the first metallic alloy component 30 relative the volume per unit length 40V of the second metallic alloy component 40. In many cases, the volumetric relationship of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 that is desirable for a drawing process is different from the volumetric relationship of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 that is required for forming the a metallic alloy. The first process 10 of the present invention solves this dilemma by changing the volumes per unit length 30V and 40V of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 after the drawing process and prior to forming the desired metallic alloy 25.

[0108] In accordance with the first process 10 of the present invention, a first volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 is selected on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing process. A second volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 is selected for producing the desired metallic alloy 25. The first volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 is drawing in the drawing process. After the drawing process is completed, a portion of at least one of the first and second alloy components 30 and 40 is removed to adjust the volumetric relationship between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 in accordance with the second volumetric relationship required for producing the desired metallic alloy.

[0109] FIG. 1 illustrates the process step 11 of forming a composite 60 from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. The composite 60 defines an outer diameter 60D. Although the composite 60 may be formed from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 in a variety of ways, in this example the composite 60 is formed preferably in a coaxial relationship.

[0110] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the formation of the composite 60 from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 referred to in FIG. 1. The composite 60 is formed by inserting the first metallic alloy component 30 within the longitudinally extending aperture 42 defined in the second metallic alloy component 40. Preferably, the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 have an extended length for forming substantially continuous metallic alloy fibers 27 through the use of the first process 10 of the present invention.

[0111] FIG. 1 illustrates the process step 12 of drawing the composite 60 for reducing the outer diameter 60D thereof and for reducing the outer diameters 30D and 40D of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. Preferably, the second metallic alloy component 40 is first tightened on the first metallic alloy components 30 to bring the inner diameter 40d of the second metallic alloy component 40 into intimate contact with the outer diameter 30D of the first metallic alloy component 30. Thereafter, the composite 60 is drawn for reducing the outer diameter 60D thereof and for reducing the outer diameters 30D and 40D of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 of the composite 60. The step of drawing the composite 60 may include successively drawing and annealing the composite 60 to reduce the outer diameter 60D to provide a fine composite fiber 80.

[0112] FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the composite 60 containing the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 of FIG. 2 after a drawing process 12. The composite 60 is drawn to reduce the outer diameter 60D of the composite 60 and for reducing the corresponding outer diameters 30D and 40D of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. The drawing process 12 produces a fine composite fiber 80 formed from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40.

[0113] FIG. 4 is a magnified end view of FIG. 3 illustrating the first volumetric relationship (30V::40V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 selected primarily on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing process 12. The first metallic alloy component 30 has an outer diameter 30D whereas the second metallic alloy component 40 has an outer diameter 40D and an inner diameter 40d. The first metallic alloy component 30 has a volume per unit length of 30V whereas the second metallic alloy component 40 has a volume per unit length of 40V. The first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 in the first volumetric relationship (30V::40V) is drawn in accordance with the drawing process 12 of FIG. 1.

[0114] FIG. 1 illustrates the process step 13 of changing the first volumetric relationship (30V::40V) of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. After completion of the drawing process 13, a portion of at least one of the first and second alloy components 30 and 40 is removed to establish a second volumetric relationship (30V::40V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. The second volumetric relationship (30V::40V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 is in accordance with the volumetric relationship required for producing the desired metallic alloy 25.

[0115] FIG. 5 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 4 after removing a portion of the second alloy component 40 to provide the second volumetric relationship (30V::40V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 for producing the desired metallic alloy 25. In this example of the invention, a portion of the outer diameter 40D of the second metallic alloy component 40 is chemically removed resulting in a reduced outer diameter 40D′ of the second metallic alloy component 40. The outer diameter 40D′ of the second metallic alloy component 40 has been reduced by chemical etching to change the first volumetric relationship (30V::40V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. The chemical etching changes the first volumetric relationship (30V::40V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 into the second volumetric relationship (30V::40V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40. The second volumetric relationship (30V::40V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 produces the desired metallic alloy 25. A comparison of FIG. 5 with FIG. 4 illustrates the removed portion of the outer diameter 40D of the second metallic alloy component 40 resulting in a reduced outer diameter 40D′ of the second metallic alloy component 40.

[0116] FIG. 1 illustrates the process step 14 of heating the composite 60 for converting the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 into the metallic alloy 25. The composite 60 is heated to a temperature sufficient to convert the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 into the metallic alloy 25. The conversion of the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 into the metallic alloy 25 provides a fine metallic alloy fiber 27.

[0117] FIG. 1 illustrates the optional process step 15 of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components 30 and 40 during the conversion process. The optional process step 15 will be described in greater detail with reference to FIGS. 30A-30D.

[0118] FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a second process 110 for making a metallic alloy 125 such as a fine metallic alloy fiber 127. The second process 110 of FIG. 7 comprises providing a first metallic alloy component 130, a second metallic alloy component 140 and a third metallic alloy component 150. The first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 are selected for be the proper metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 to create a desired metallic alloy 125.

[0119] FIGS. 8-12 are various views of the second process 110 of FIG. 7 illustrating the process of making the metallic alloy 125 from the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 in the form of a fine metallic alloy fiber 127. In this example of the invention, the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 are formed in a triaxial relationship.

[0120] FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 forming a triaxial composite 170 referred to in FIG. 7. The first metallic alloy component 130 is shown as a solid component having an outer diameter 130D and a volume per unit length of 130V.

[0121] The second metallic alloy component 140 is shown as a tube having an outer diameter 140D, an inner diameter 140d and a volume per unit length of 140V. A longitudinally extending aperture 142 defines the inner diameter 140d. The inner diameter 140d of the second metallic alloy component 140 is greater than the outer diameter 130D of the first metallic alloy component 130 for enabling the first metallic alloy component 130 to be received within the second metallic alloy component 140.

[0122] The third metallic alloy component 150 is shown as a tube having an outer diameter 150D, an inner diameter 150d and a volume per unit length of 150V. A longitudinally extending aperture 152 defines the inner diameter 150d. The inner diameter 150d of the third metallic alloy component 150 is greater than the outer diameter 140D of the second metallic alloy component 140 for enabling the second metallic alloy component 140 to be received within the third metallic alloy component 150.

[0123] A coaxial composite 160 is formed by inserting the first metallic alloy component 130 within the longitudinally extending aperture 142 defined in the second metallic alloy component 140. The coaxial composite 160 is inserted within a longitudinally extending aperture 152 defined in the third metallic alloy component 150 to form the triaxial composite 170.

[0124] FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the composite 170 containing the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 of FIG. 7 after a drawing process 112 of FIG. 7. The drawing of the triaxial composite 170 reduces the outer diameter 170D thereof and reduces the outer diameters 130D, 140D and 150D of the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150. The second metallic alloy component 140 is first tightened on the first metallic alloy components 130 to form a coaxial composite 160. Thereafter, the third metallic alloy component 150 is tightened on the second metallic alloy components 140 to form a triaxial composite 170. Thereafter, the triaxial composite 170 is drawn for reducing the outer diameter 170D thereof and for reducing the outer diameters 130D, 140D and 150D of the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 of the triaxial composite 170. The step of drawing the triaxial composite 170 may include successively drawing and annealing the triaxial composite 170 to reduce the outer diameter 170D to provide the fine composite fiber 180.

[0125] FIG. 10 is a magnified end view of FIG. 9 illustrating a first volumetric relationship (130V::140V::15OV) between the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 selected primarily on the physical configuration suitable for the drawing process 12. The first metallic alloy component 130 has an outer diameter 130D, the second metallic alloy component 140 has an outer diameter 140D and an inner diameter 140d whereas the third metallic alloy component 150 has an outer diameter 150D and an inner diameter 150 d. The first metallic alloy component 130 has a volume per unit length of 130V, the second metallic alloy component 140 has a volume per unit length of 140V whereas the third metallic alloy component 150 has a volume per unit length of 150V. The first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 in the first volumetric relationship (130V::140V::15OV) is drawn in the drawing process 12 of FIG. 7.

[0126] After the drawing process 12, the first volumetric relationship (130V:: 140V:: 150V) of the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 changed to a second volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V′) in accordance with the process step 113 illustrated in FIG. 7. A portion of the third alloy components 150 is removed to change the first volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V) between the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 to the second volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V′) required for producing the desired metallic alloy 125.

[0127] FIG. 11 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 10 after removing a portion of the third alloy component 150 to provide a second volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V′) between the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 for producing the desired metallic alloy 125. In this example of the invention, a portion of the outer diameter 150D of the third metallic alloy component 150 is removed resulting in a reduced outer diameter 150D′ of the third metallic alloy component 150. The outer diameter 150D′ of the third metallic alloy component 150 has been reduced to change the first volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V) between the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 to the second volumetric relationship (130V::140V::150V′) required for producing the desired metallic alloy 125. A comparison of FIG. 11 with FIG. 10 illustrates the removed portion of the outer diameter 150D of the third metallic alloy component 150 resulting in a reduced outer diameter 150D′ of the third metallic alloy component 150.

[0128] FIG. 12 is a magnified end view similar to FIG. 11 after heating of the composite 170 in the process step 114 of FIG. 7. The composite 170 is heated to a temperature sufficient to convert the first, second and third metallic alloy components 130, 140 and 150 into the metallic alloy 125 to provide a fine metallic alloy fiber 127.

[0129] FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating a third process 210 for making a metallic alloy 225 in the form of an array 226 of fine metallic alloy fibers 227. Although this second process 210 will be explained with regard to a coaxial arrangement of a first and a second metallic alloy component 230 and 240, it should be understood that the third process 210 may be used with a triaxial arrangement of metallic alloy components as well as other arrangements.

[0130] FIG. 14 is an isometric view of the first metallic alloy component 220 referred to in FIG. 13 with FIG. 14A being an enlarged end view of FIG. 14. In this example, the first metallic alloy component 230 is shown as a solid component having an outer diameter 230D and a volume per unit length of 230V.

[0131] FIG. 15 is an isometric view of the second metallic alloy component 240 referred to in FIG. 13 with FIG. 15A being an enlarged end view of FIG. 15. The second first metallic alloy 240 is shown as a tube having an outer diameter 240D, an inner diameter 240d and a volume per unit length of 40V. A longitudinally extending aperture 242 defines the inner diameter 240d. Preferably, the inner diameter 240d of the second metallic alloy component 240 is greater than the outer diameter 230D of the first metallic alloy component 230 for enabling the first metallic alloy component 230 to be received within the second metallic alloy component 240.

[0132] The first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 are selected to be a first volumetric relationship (230V::240V). The first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) is based primarily on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing process. After the drawing process, the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) is adjusted or changed to a second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) for producing the desired metallic alloy 225.

[0133] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 211 of forming a composite 260 from the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. The composite 260 defines an outer diameter 260D. The composite 60 may be formed from the first and second metallic alloy components 30 and 40 in a variety of ways as should be appreciated by those skilled in the art.

[0134] FIG. 15 illustrates the formation of the composite 260 from the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 referred to in FIG. 13. The composite 260 is formed by inserting the first metallic alloy component 230 within the longitudinally extending aperture 242 defined in the second metallic alloy component 240.

[0135] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 212 of drawing the composite 260 for reducing the outer diameter 260D thereof and for reducing the outer diameters 230D and 240D of the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240.

[0136] FIG. 16 is an isometric view of the second metallic alloy component 240 after being tightened upon the first metallic alloy component 230. FIG. 16A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 16. The second metallic alloy component 240 is first tightened on the first metallic alloy components 230 to bring the inner diameter 240d of the second metallic alloy component 240 into intimate contact with the outer diameter 230D of the first metallic alloy component 230. Thereafter, the composite 260 is drawn for reducing the outer diameter 260D thereof and for reducing the outer diameters 230D and 240D of the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 internal the composite 260.

[0137] FIG. 17 is an isometric view of the composite 260 containing the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 after the drawing process 212 of FIG. 13. The composite 260 is drawn to reduce the outer diameter 260D of the composite 260 and for reducing the corresponding outer diameters 230D and 240C of the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. The process step 212 of drawing the composite 260 may include successively drawing and annealing the composite 260 to reduce the outer diameter 260D to provide the fine composite fiber 280.

[0138] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 213 of cladding the drawn composite 260 with a first cladding material 235. The first cladding material 235 may be applied to the outer diameter 260D of the composite 260 by a conventional cladding process or by an electroplating process.

[0139] FIG. 18 is an isometric view of the composite 260 with the first cladding material 235 thereon. FIG. 18A is an enlarged end view of FIG. 18. In this example, the first cladding material 235 is a copper material but it should be understood that various types of cladding materials 235 may be used in the improved process 210. The process of applying the first cladding material 235 to the composite 260 may be accomplished in various ways. One preferred process of applying the first cladding material 235 to the composite 260 is an electroplating process. The first cladding material 235 defines a coating diameter 235D. Preferably, the first cladding material 235 represents approximately ten percent (10%) by weight of the combined weight of the composite 260 and the first cladding material 235. In one example of the invention, the first cladding 235 is a copper material but it should be understood that various types of materials may be used for the first cladding 235. The first cladding 235 may be drawn for reducing the diameter 235D of the first cladding 235.

[0140] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 214 of forming an assembly 226 of a plurality of the drawn composites 260 containing the first cladding 235 of FIGS. 18. Preferably, 150 to 1200 of the drawn composites 260 are formed into the assembly 226.

[0141] FIG. 19 is an isometric view of the assembly 226 of a plurality of the drawn composites 260 after the assembly process 214 of FIG. 13. FIG. 19A is an end view of FIG. 19. The plurality of the drawn composites 260 are assembled in a manner suitable for being received within a second cladding 245. In this example, the plurality of the drawn composites 260 are assembled to have a substantially circular cross-section.

[0142] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 215 of cladding the assembly 226 of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 within the second cladding 245. In one example of the invention, a sheet of the second cladding 245 is bent about the assembly 226 of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 with opposed edges of the sheet of the second cladding 245 abutting one another. The abutting opposed edges of the sheet of the second cladding 245 are welded to one another. The assembly 226 of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 are encased within the second cladding 245 having a diameter 245D. In another example of the invention, the second cladding 245 is a preformed tube with the assembly 226 of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 being inserted within the second cladding 245.

[0143] FIG. 20 illustrates the completed process of cladding assembly 226 of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 within the second cladding 245. The interior surface of the second cladding 245 may be treated with a release material 247 to inhibit chemical interaction between the second cladding material 245 and the plurality of drawn composites 260 and/or the first cladding 235.

[0144] Preferably, the second cladding 245 is made of a carbon steel material. The release material 247 may be titanium dioxide TiO2, sodium silicate, aluminum oxide, talc or any other suitable material to inhibit chemical interaction between the second cladding material 245 and the first cladding 235. The release material 247 may be suspended within a liquid for enabling the release material 247 to be painted onto the second cladding 245. In the alternative, the release material 247 may be applied by flame spraying or a plasma gun or any other suitable means. In still another embodiment of the invention, the second cladding 245 is formed form the same material as the first cladding 235.

[0145] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 216 of drawing the second cladding 245. The process step 216 of drawing the second cladding 245 provides three effects. Firstly, the process step 216 reduces an outer diameter 245D of the second cladding 245. Secondly, the process step 216 reduces the corresponding outer diameter 260D of each of the plurality of the drawn composites 260 and the corresponding outer diameter 235D of each of the first claddings 235. Thirdly, the process step 216 causes the first claddings 235 on each of drawn composites 260 to diffusion weld with the first claddings on adjacent drawn composites 260.

[0146] FIG. 21 is an isometric view of the second cladding 245 of FIG. 20 after the drawing process 216 of FIG. 13. FIG. 21 A is an end view of FIG. 21. The diffusion welding of the first claddings 235 forms a unitary material 255.

[0147] FIG. 22 is an enlarged end view of a portion of FIG. 21. The plurality of the drawn composites 260 are contained within the unitary material 255 extending throughout the interior of the second cladding 245. Preferably, the first cladding 235 is a copper material and is diffusion welded within the second cladding 245 to form a substantially unitary copper material 255 with the plurality of drawn composites 260 contained therein.

[0148] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 217 of removing the second cladding 245. In the preferred form of the process, the step 217 of removing the second cladding 245 comprises chemically removing the second cladding 245. In the alternative, the step 217 of removing the second cladding 245 may comprise mechanically removing the second cladding 245.

[0149] FIG. 23 is a view similar to FIG. 22 after the process step 217 of removing the second cladding 245. In one example of this process step 217, the second cladding 245 is chemically removed from the substantially unitary coating material 255 with the plurality of composites 260 contained therein. In the alternative, the second cladding 245 is scored or cut by a mechanical cutter (not shown). The scores or cuts form plural tube portions that are mechanically pulled apart to peel the second cladding 245 off of the substantially unitary coating material 255 with the plurality of composites 260 contained therein.

[0150] The substantially unitary coating material 255 with the plurality of composites 260 contained therein may be drawn further for further reducing the outer diameter of the unitary coating material 255 and for further reducing the corresponding outer diameter 235D of the plurality of composites 260 contained therein.

[0151] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 218 of removing the first cladding 235. In the preferred form of the process, the step 218 of removing the first cladding 235 comprises chemically removing the first cladding 235.

[0152] FIG. 24 is a view similar to FIG. 23 after removal of the first cladding 235. After the removal of the unitary coating material 255 formed from the first claddings 235, the remainder is an assembly of plurality of fine composites fibers 280.

[0153] FIG. 24A is an enlarged view of a single fine composite fiber 280 of the assembly shown in FIG. 24. FIGS. 24 and 24A illustrate the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 selected primarily on the physical configuration suitable for a drawing processes 212 and 216. The first metallic alloy component 230 has an outer diameter 230D whereas the second metallic alloy component 240 has an outer diameter 240D and an inner diameter 240d. The first metallic alloy component 230 has a volume per unit length of 230V whereas the second metallic alloy component 240 has a volume per unit length of 240V. The first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 in the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) is drawn in accordance with the drawing process 212 and 216 of FIG. 13.

[0154] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 219 of changing the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) of the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. A portion of at least one of the first and second alloy components 230 and 240 is removed to establish a second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. The second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 is in accordance with the volumetric relationship required for producing the desired metallic alloy 225.

[0155] FIG. 25 is a view similar to FIG. 24 after removing a portion of the second alloy component 240 to provide the second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 for producing the desired metallic alloy 225.

[0156] FIG. 25A is an enlarged view of a single fine composite fiber 280 of the assembly shown in FIG. 25. FIGS. 25 and 25A illustrate the second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. In this example of the invention, a portion of the outer diameter 240D of the second metallic alloy component 240 is chemically removed resulting in a reduced outer diameter 240D′ of the second metallic alloy component 240. The outer diameter 240D′ of the second metallic alloy component 240 has been reduced by chemical etching to change the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. The chemical etching changes the first volumetric relationship (230V::240V) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 into the second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240. The second volumetric relationship (230V::240V′) between the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 produces the desired metallic alloy 225. A comparison of FIG. 25 with FIG. 224 illustrates the removed portion of the outer diameter 240D of the second metallic alloy component 240 resulting in a reduced outer diameter 240D′ of the second metallic alloy component 240.

[0157] FIG. 13 illustrates the process step 220 of heating the composite 260 for converting the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 into the metallic alloy 225. The composite 260 is heated to a temperature sufficient to convert the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 into the metallic alloy 225.

[0158] FIG. 26 is a view similar to FIG. 25 after the application of heat to convert the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 into the desired metallic alloy fiber 225. The conversion of the first and second metallic alloy components 230 and 240 into the metallic alloy 225 provides a fine metallic alloy fiber 227. Typically, it is easier to draw a first and a second metallic alloy component if the first or inner metallic alloy component is softer than the second or outer metallic alloy component.

[0159] FIG. 27A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a fourth example of a first metallic alloy component A and a second metallic alloy component B prior to the conversion process.

[0160] FIG. 27B is a view similar to FIG. 27A illustrating the first metallic alloy component A and the second metallic alloy component B after the conversion process. The first metallic alloy component A and the second metallic alloy component B provide the final result:

AxBy+(A or B)

[0161] The resultant metallic alloy can be formed with an excess of either the first metallic alloy component A or the second metallic alloy component B. 1

COMPONENT ACOMPONENT B
AlFe
AlNi
AlTi
AlZr
TiNi
TiCo
AuCu
CoFe
MoNi
PtNi

[0162] FIG. 28A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a fifth example of a first metallic alloy component A and a second metallic alloy component B with a first basic metal M and a second basic metal N prior to the conversion process.

[0163] The first metallic alloy component A and the second metallic alloy component B may be selected from various. In one example, the first metallic alloy component A is shown as aluminum (Al) and the second metallic alloy component B is shown as iron (Fe). The first basic metal M and the second basic metal N may be selected from the following groups: 2

METAL MMETAL N
Mg, Cu, Zn, Li, Mn, Si, Y, AgNi, Cr, Co, V, Si, Ti, Mo, Ta, W, Pt

[0164] FIG. 28B is a view similar to FIG. 28A illustrating the first metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B, the first basic metal M and the second basic metal N after the conversion process. The first metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B, the first basic metal M and the second basic metal N provide the final result:

AxBy+(A or B)+M+N

[0165] The resultant metallic alloy can be formed with an excess of either the first metallic alloy component A or the second metallic alloy component B and an excess of the first basic metal M and the second basic metal N. This process enables basic metals with low boiling points to be introduced within the metallic alloy that was impossible prior to the present invention.

[0166] FIG. 29A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a sixth example of a first metallic alloy component A, a second metallic alloy component B and a third metallic alloy component C prior to the conversion process.

[0167] FIG. 29B is a view similar to FIG. 29A illustrating the first second metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B, and the third metallic alloy component C after the conversion process. The first second metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B, and the third metallic alloy component C provide the final result:

AxByCz+(A or B)+C

[0168] The resultant metallic alloy can be formed with an excess of either the first metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B and an excess of the third metallic alloy component C. The volume of the first metallic alloy component A, the second metallic alloy component B and the third metallic alloy component C may be selected to consume all of the second metallic alloy component B with an excess of the third metallic alloy component C.

[0169] The first metallic alloy component A and the second metallic alloy component B and the third metallic alloy component C may be selected from various groups. In one example, the first metallic alloy component A is shown as aluminum (Al) and the second metallic alloy component B is shown as iron (Fe).

Component C

Fe, Ni, Cu, Mo, Ag, Ti

SPECIFIC EXAMPLE

[0170] One example of the third process of the present invention shown in FIG. 13 is set forth as the process of making iron aluminide fibers. The following is an example of the production of 40 micron iron aluminide fibers with 20-weight percent Al or 34% Al by weight. The first alloy component is an aluminum core with the second alloy component being an outside iron component.

[0171] The Fe3Al composition contained 25 percent Al or 13.9 weight percent Al. The production of fibers with high aluminum/iron volume ratio was very difficult due to the following reasons. Drawing thin shell of iron with large aluminum core causes wire breaks as a result of large difference in mechanical properties of aluminum and iron. The heat evolved during both drawing and ductility restoration heat treatment of composite will convert the portion of iron into brittle iron aluminides. With very thin iron casing, the drawing becomes immediately impossible if about 20-25% of iron casing is converted to aluminides.

[0172] Aluminum wire of 0.051 inch diameter was inserted into 0.182″ outside diameter iron tube with a 0.025 inch wall thickness. After drawing and tube tightening, the composite had a 0.051 inch aluminum core surrounded by iron casing with wall thickness of 0.025 inches. The composite diameter will be 0.101 inches. The calculated weight percentage of Al in the composite will be 10.5% versus required 20%. Composite was drawn to 0.011 inches and copper plated (10% Cu by weight). This composite is referred to as a single end.

[0173] An assembly of 217 single ends of 0.011 inch plated wire was put into carbon steel tube of 0.30 inch diameter. The composite was drawn to 0.245 inches to tighten the structure. The composite was annealed at 1000° F. for 15 min. The desired goal was to draw the composite to final diameter to produce a fiber composite and to adjust the volumetric relationship by removing material.

[0174] The final fiber should have 20% Al and 80% Fe by weight. The cross-sectional areas of the material to be removed or the sacrificial material is calculated as follows. For 100 gram fibers with each of the fibers having a length of 1.0 cm, then the area of Al will be 20/2.7=7.4 cm2 and the area of iron 80/7.86=10.2 cm2 (2.7 and 7.86 are densities of materials). Then the ratio of iron/aluminum areas will be 10.2/7/4=1.38. The calculated ratio of the diameter of the fibers to the aluminum core is 1.54.

[0175] When the single end was made, the aluminum core diameter was 0.051 and the outside casing or fiber diameter was 0.101 inches. To make a fiber with 20 weight % iron with the same aluminum core, the single end diameter should have been 0.051×1.54=0.0785. Then the ratio of existing and required single ends will be 0.101/0.0785=1.29.

[0176] In order to make 40 micron fiber with 20% Al, a 40×1.29=52 micron fiber with 10.5% Al needs to be produced. The weight of sacrificial material to be removed is calculated as follows. For 100 gram fibers, the initial fibers will have 10.5 gram Al and 89.5 gram Fe. The 100 gram final fibers will have 20 gram Al and 80 gram Fe. The Fe/Al ratio is 4. To match the same ratio in the starting fibers with fixed amount of Al, 10.5×4=42 gram Fe is needed. The new weight of fibers will be 42+10.5=52.5 grams. The weight of the fibers should be reduced in 100/52.5=1.9 times. It means that one pound fibers should be kept in leaching solution until the weight reaches 0.525 lb.

[0177] After annealing, the composite was drawn to 0.045 inches and leached in 10% sulfuric acid to remove iron tube and in 20% solution of ammonium hydroxide to remove copper, 52 micron fibers were produced. Then the fibers were immersed in 10% solution of sulfuric acid and leached until their weight was reduced by a factor of 1.9 times.

[0178] FIG. 30A is a magnified cross-sectional view illustrating a seventh example of a first and a second metallic alloy component prior to the conversion process. In some circumstances, a void 300 is established between the first alloy component A and the second alloy component B after the conversion process.

[0179] FIG. 30B is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second alloy components A and B after the conversion process illustrating the void 300 formed in the alloy. The void 300 is formed at the interface of the first alloy component A and the second alloy component B. The void 300 is caused in part by the interaction of the first alloy component A with the second alloy component B to form the metallic alloy.

[0180] FIG. 1 illustrates the optional process step 15 of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components A and B during the conversion process. The optional process step 15 of applying an isostatic pressure to the first and second alloy components A and B minimizes the formation of a void 300 at the interface of the first alloy component A and the second alloy component B.

[0181] FIG. 30C is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components A and B being subjected to the isostatic pressure during the conversion process. The isostatic pressure is applied to the exterior surface of the second alloy component B uniformly in all directions. In one example of the invention, an atmosphere of high-density argon is applied to the second metallic alloy component B at a pressure of 200 to 3000 atmospheres during the conversion process. The first and second metallic alloy components A and B may be simultaneously heated to a temperature of 480° C. to 1700° C.

[0182] In another example of the invention, an atmosphere of 4% to 25% hydrogen and 86% to 75% high-density argon is applied to the second metallic alloy component B at a pressure of 200 to 3000 atmospheres during the conversion process. The first and second metallic alloy components A and B may be simultaneously heated to a temperature of 480° C. to 1700° C. The isostatic pressure applied to the second metallic alloy component B is transferred to the first metallic alloy components A to minimizes the formation of the void 300 at the interface of the first alloy component A and the second alloy component B.

[0183] FIG. 30D is a view similar to FIG. 30A illustrating the first and second metallic alloy components A and B after the isostatic conversion process. The isostatic pressure applied to the first and second metallic alloy component A and B minimizes the formation of the void 300 at the interface of the first alloy component A and the second alloy component B.

[0184] The present disclosure includes that contained in the appended claims as well as that of the foregoing description. Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.