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US3975184: Method and apparatus for production of high quality powders

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Ronald R. Akers ·
Assignee(s) Westinghouse Electric Corporation ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Moran; M. J. ·
Primary Examiner W. Stallard ·
Application Number US5486710
Filing date 07/08/1974
Issue date 08/17/1976
Predicted expiration date 07/08/1994
U.S. Classifications 75/336  · 373/64  · 373/107  · 373/60  · 264/10  · 373/90  · 425/6  · 75/953  ·
International Classifications B22D 2308  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 75.5 B;.5 BA;.5 BB;.5 C ·
33 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

An electric arc which is struck between an electrode and the surface of a pool of molten material rotates under the influence of a magnetic field to thereby free liquid particles from the surface of the pool. The particles produced are quenched in an adjacent inert atmosphere or solidified in a vacuum and become powder. This powder is then collected conveniently.

Independent Claims | See all claims (33)

  1. 1. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool in the region of said arc for subsequent solidification.
  2. 10. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;non-consumable electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andmagnetic field generating arc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  3. 14. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material of predetermined surface area, volume mass and surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc which causes substantial movement of said surface of said pool in the region where said arc resides on said surface without causing substantial movement of the remainder of said mass of said pool to thereby optimize the mechanical energy provided by said arc to overcome said surface tension of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  4. 17. Powder producing apparatus, comprising:non-consumable electrode means; anda generally vertically oriented ingot means disposed in spaced relationship with said non-consumable electrode means, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and a surface of said ingot means to form a pool of molten material at the top of said ingot means, said ingot means and said non-consumable electrode means being energized at different electrical potential to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained therebetween, arc moving means provided to move said arc on the surface of said pool, the surface tension of said pool being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc, said arc thus causing molten particles to be given up by said pool of said ingot means in the region of said arc which particles subsequently solidify as powder particles.
  5. 19. Powder producing apparatus, comprising:generally nonrotating ingot means;electrode means disposed in spaced relationship with a surface of said ingot means, an electric arc of predetermined electric current value being struck between said surface of said ingot means and said electrode means, said ingot means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said ingot means to thus cause molten particles to be given by said ingot means which particles solidify as powder particles.
  6. 20. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to arc column pressure against the surface of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  7. 21. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to the spin of the arc column to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  8. 22. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to the arc column plowing through an upper region of the volume of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  9. 23. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;rotatable electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification.
  10. 24. Powder producing apparatus comprising:chamber means containing a chemically reactive medium;pool means disposed in said chamber means for containing a pool of molten material having a surface with associated surface tension;electrode means disposed in said chamber means in spaced relationship with said surface of said pool, an electric arc of predetermined current value being struck between said electrode means and said surface of said pool of molten material, said pool means and said electrode means being energized at different electrical potentials to cause said electric arc to be struck and sustained; andarc moving means for causing movement of said arc on said surface of said pool, said surface tension of said pool of material being overcome by a predetermined force related to said arc to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool for subsequent solidification, said chemically reactive medium chemically reacting with said liquid particles to tend to purify the particles.
  11. 26. A method for producing powder from a pool of molten material in a chamber in which an electrode is present, including the steps of:providing an electric arc having a predetermined force associated therewith between the surface of said pool and said electrode to overcome the surface tension of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool in the region where said arc impinges upon said surface;solidifying said liquid particles into powder particles; andproviding lines of magnetic flux having a component generally perpendicular to the electric current of said arc to thus move said arc relative to said surface of said pool to thus provide a component of said predetermined force.
  12. 27. A method for producing powder from a pool of molten material in a chamber in which an electrode is present, including the steps of:providing an electric arc having a predetermined force associated therewith between the surface of said pool and said electrode to overcome the surface tension of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool in the region where said arc impinges upon said surface;solidifying said liquid particles into powder particles; andintroducing a medium into said chamber for chemically reacting with feed stock materials which are supplied to said pool for melting.
  13. 28. A method for producing powder from a pool of molten material in a chamber in which an electrode is present, including the steps of:providing an electric arc having a predetermined force associated therewith between the surface of said pool and said electrode to overcome the surface tension of said pool to enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool in the region where said arc impinges upon said surface;solidifying said liquid particles into powder particles; andintroducing a medium into said chamber to chemically react with said liquid particles.
  14. 29. A method for producing powder from a pool of molten material in a chamber in which an electrode is present, including the steps of:providing an electric arc which has a predetermined force associated therewith between the surface of said pool and said electrode to overcome the surface tension of said pool to thus enhance the giving up of liquid particles from said pool in the region where said arc impinges upon said surface; and;solidifying said liquid particles into powder particles.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US3021562 DOW CHEMICAL CO Chisholm et al. Feb 1962
US3721511 SCHLIENGER M Schlienger Mar 1973

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