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METAL MATRIX COMPOSITE COMB

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013689D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Described is a design and means to manufacture a metal matrix composite (MMC) actuator E-block using pressure infusion casting (PIC). Disk drive components, such as actuator E-blocks, can be made of metal matrix composites because their desirable properties of high specific stiffness, high strength and thermal properties can enhance seek and thermal off-track performance. Using this design, the bandwidth of the disk drive servo control system can be increased because the structural resonances are much higher in frequency and lower in gain due to improved damping. The manufacturing steps begin with the creation of a ceramic preform in the shape of an undersized E-block by injection molding a mixture of fine ceramic particles and organic thermal-plastic binders. Possible ceramic reinforcements are: silicon carbide, silicon nitride, boron carbide and alumina which have four to six times greater specific stiffness than aluminum. Following low temperature baking to drive off the binders, the E-block preform is rendered porous. Next, the preform is placed inside a die cavity to pressure infusion cast the metal matrix (typically aluminum) to the required shape. As molten metal flows into the heated die under pressure, it both penetrates and surrounds the preform. After cooling and ejection from the mold, the monolithic E-block may be machined at the metal rich zones to achieve the tolerance of the critical dimensions. The completed E-block’s structure has a light, stiff, continuous ceramic core impregnated with metal and surrounded by a continuous metal skin. Using this design and method, a high modulus, light weight E-block can be manufactured cost effectively.

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METAL MATRIX COMPOSITE COMB

   Described is a design and means to manufacture a metal matrix composite (MMC)
actuator E-block using pressure infusion casting (PIC). Disk drive components,
such as actuator E-blocks, can be made of metal matrix composites because their
desirable properties of high specific stiffness, high strength and thermal
properties can enhance seek and thermal off-track performance. Using this design,
the bandwidth of the disk drive servo control system can be increased because the
structural resonances are much higher in frequency and lower in gain due to
improved damping.

The manufacturing steps begin with the creation of a
ceramic preform in the shape of an undersized E-block
by injection molding a mixture of fine ceramic
particles and organic thermal-plastic binders.
Possible ceramic reinforcements are: silicon carbide,
silicon nitride, boron carbide and alumina which have
four to six times greater specific stiffness than
aluminum. Following low temperature baking to drive
off the binders, the E-block preform is rendered
porous. Next, the preform is placed inside a die
cavity to pressure infusion cast the metal matrix
(typically aluminum) to the required shape. As molten
metal flows into the heated die under pressure, it
both penetrates and surrounds the preform. After
cooling and ejection from the mold, the monolithic
E-block may be machined at the metal rich zones to
achieve the tolerance of the critical dimensions.

The completed E-block's structure has a light,...