THE DIRECT PRODUCTION OF INTERMETALLIC COM- POUND POWDER

Period of Performance: 01/01/1986 - 12/31/1986

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE PRESENT PROCESS OF PRODUCING INTERMETALLIC ALLOY POWDER BY MELTING, CASTING, AND A POWDER ATOMIZA- TION STEP IS EXPENSIVE AND TECHNICALLY LACKING, THUS LIMITING THE ULTIMATE MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL PRO- PERTIES OF THE INTERMETALLIC MATERIAL. THIS PROJECT EX- AMINES THE FEASIBILITY OF PRODUCING NICKEL AND TITA- NIUM ALUMINIDE INTERMETALLIC ALLOY POWDER BY THE DIRECT REDUCTION OF METAL CHLORIDE PRECURSORS. SUCH A PROCESS CAN PRODUCE TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR INTER- METALLIC POWDER, WITH A VARITY OF MICROALLOYING ELEMENTS AT SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS. THIS PROJECT IS DIRECTED TOWARD DEFINING OPTIMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS FOR PRODUCING NI3A1 MICROALLOYED WITH BORON WITH AND WITHOUT HAFNIUM WITH UNIFORM INTER-AND INTRA-PARTICLE COMPOSITION IN A PARTICLE SIZE USEFUL IN CURRENT POWDER METALLURGY PROCESSING. A CONTNUOUS QUARTZ REACTOR WILL BE DESIGNED AND OPERATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY. THE KEY TECHNICAL ISSUES ARE: (1) TO DETERMINE THERMO- DYNAMICALLY THE MOST FAVORABLE OPERATING CONDITIONS FOR PHASE CONTROL AND MATERIAL BALANCE, (2) TO DETERMINE EXPERIMENTALLY THE OPTIMUM OPERATING PARAMETERS FOR ENHANCING ALLOYED PARTICLES NUCLEATION, (3) TO ESTABLISH THE NEED FOR MICROSCOPIC MIXING OF PRODUCT, AND (4) TO DEVELOP AN EMPIRICAL MODEL TO DESCRIBE NUCLEATION KINETICS.