Browse Prior Art Database

Superplastic Tools and Materials

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000090346D
Original Publication Date: 1969-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Uberbacher, EC: AUTHOR

Abstract

Certain metal alloys have stretch characteristics similar to plastic materials when heated to a critical temperature. Accordingly, these alloys can be thermoformed in a manner similar to the thermoforming of plastic materials. As a superplastic alloy is thermoformed into a tool or die, the portion of the alloy first contacting the tool tends to freeze to the tool wall forcing the remaining material not yet in contact with the wall to do most of the stretching. This problem is overcome by providing TEFLON* coating 10 for lubricating purposes. Coating 10 can be applied by placing a TEFLON sheet 12 across the die cavity. Sheet 12 is thermoformed into die 14 by creating a vacuum between the mold and die. This provides a uniform lubricating layer of material on all the walls of the die 14.

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Superplastic Tools and Materials

Certain metal alloys have stretch characteristics similar to plastic materials when heated to a critical temperature. Accordingly, these alloys can be thermoformed in a manner similar to the thermoforming of plastic materials. As a superplastic alloy is thermoformed into a tool or die, the portion of the alloy first contacting the tool tends to freeze to the tool wall forcing the remaining material not yet in contact with the wall to do most of the stretching. This problem is overcome by providing TEFLON* coating 10 for lubricating purposes. Coating 10 can be applied by placing a TEFLON sheet 12 across the die cavity. Sheet 12 is thermoformed into die 14 by creating a vacuum between the mold and die. This provides a uniform lubricating layer of material on all the walls of the die 14. Thus, as the alloy is thermoformed into the die, the places where it contacts the die wall have coating 10 so that the freezing does not take place and a more uniform stretching of the alloy results. This provides a more uniform product or part. Coating 10 can also be applied to the alloy blank to be thermoformed rather than to the tooling. *Trademark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

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