Superplastic Material Patents (Class 72/709)
  • Patent number: 8250896
    Abstract: A movable die is provided to be displaceable in an upper die. When the upper die is moved downward to press a steel plate together with a lower die, only the movable die first abuts on the steel plate to carry out forming together with the lower die. Then, the upper die is further moved downward to form a part which has not been formed by the movable die.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kaoru Hirotani
  • Patent number: 8065899
    Abstract: A feed device for a superplastic press-forming press has a slide that moves vertically and a base between which is held a tool having a cover and a bottom die enclosing a forming tool, which includes at least one heating shuttle to transport the bottom die, equipped with the forming tool and a cover, with the heating shuttle adapted to complete the press and constitute the base of the press during a hot-press forming operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus France
    Inventor: Valerie Frustie
  • Patent number: 7832245
    Abstract: A titanium sheet to be formed is heated in a sealingly closed tool by the radiation heat from the heating elements integrated into the tool to a forming temperature not exceeding 600° C., and is deformed towards a cold tool contour by the action of a non-oxidizing gaseous pressure medium introduced into the tool and heated to the hot-forming temperature, as well as by underpressure generated on the side of the workpiece facing away from the pressure medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG
    Inventor: Karl Schreiber
  • Patent number: 7827840
    Abstract: A superplastic forming apparatus and method for forming a sheet of material at an elevated temperatures into a workpiece having a complex geometry. The process takes advantage of a mechanical forming step, which draws material along a major axis to form a first preform. Upon completion of the first mechanical forming step, a second, initial superplastic forming step acts on the first preform to create a second preform having a plurality of channels or grooves located thereon. The grooves or channels function to draw additional material prior to the second or final gas forming step, which completes the forming process by driving the material against a forming surface. Accordingly, the method and apparatus function to reduce forming time and eliminate thinning and wrinkling of the sheet material during the forming process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Jaguar Cars Limited
    Inventors: S. George Luckey, Jr., Peter A. Friedman
  • Patent number: 7669450
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for forming a sheet of ductile material by superplastic forming. The gas pressure is varied to control the material flow during the forming process. Accordingly, the gas pressure can be increased or decreased to control the rate of deformation of the workpiece. Accordingly, the method and apparatus contemplates the use of predetermined pressure profiles to reduce the overall forming time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Inventors: Peter Friedman, Warren Copple, George Luckey, Jr., Richard Allor
  • Publication number: 20090145192
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for forming a sheet of ductal material by superplastic forming. The gas pressure is varied to control the material flow during the forming process. Accordingly, the gas pressure can be increased or decreased to control the rate of deformation of the workpiece. Accordingly, the method and apparatus contemplates the use of predetermined pressure profiles to reduce the overall forming time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Inventors: Peter Friedman, Warren Copple, George Luckey, JR., Richard Allor
  • Patent number: 7516529
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method for producing a complex composite metal structure having a metallic foam substrate. A sheet metal structure is provided having a metallic foam precursor formed of metallic particles and foaming agents. The sheet metal structure is formed using quick plastic or superplastic formation processes. After or during the formation of the metal, the temperature of the metallic precursor is raised to a point that the foaming agent produces a metallic foam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Arianna T Morales, Paul E Krajewski
  • Patent number: 7363790
    Abstract: Method of preforming and forming a sheet metal article from a preheated blank of sheet metal uses opposing dies including a punch having a punch surface defining a final configuration for the article and a cavity die having a cavity surface defining a preform configuration. The blank is placed between the dies and has a first side surface facing the cavity die and a second side surface facing the punch. A vacuum is applied to the first side of the blank to draw and shape the blank into the cavity die to a preform configuration conforming to the cavity surface. The punch and the cavity die are then closed toward one another and gas pressure is then applied to the first side surface of the blank to press the second side surface against the punch surface to the finish configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary A. Kruger, Chongmin Kim, Richard H. Hammar
  • Patent number: 7284402
    Abstract: A system and method for superplastic forming a workpiece. The system includes a superplastic forming cell formed of a plurality of individual stations or modules, each one performing a specific manufacturing step or process on the workpiece. Individual stations include a preheat station, a forming station, a cooling station, a cleaning station and a trimming station. These stations work in conjunction with one another to reduce superplastic forming cycle times and correspondingly increased production times when manufacturing a workpiece using a superplastic forming process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Peter Friedman, Richard Allor, Warren Copple, George Luckey, Jr., Chris Young
  • Patent number: 7269986
    Abstract: A method of forming an elongated metal blank into a structural component having a predetermined outer configuration. The method includes providing a shape imparting cavity or shell section formed from a rigid material which includes an inner surface defining the predetermined shape, placing the metal blank into the cavity or shell section, and forming the metal blank into the component by heating axial portions of the metal blank and forcing a fluid at a high pressure into the metal blank until the metal blank at least partially conforms to at least a portion of the inner surface of the cavity or shell section to form the structural component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: Hot Metal Gas Forming IP 2, Inc.
    Inventors: George D. Pfaffmann, William C. Dykstra, Marc R. Matsen
  • Patent number: 7204119
    Abstract: A press and tooling apparatus for forming a preheated blank includes a heated upper tool and an opposing heated lower tool mounted within the press for relative closing movement to press the preheated blank there between. A binder ring assembly surrounds the lower tool and is mounted on the press for movement relative to the lower tool so at to bind the preheated blank to the upper tool in air tight sealing relationship in readiness for closure of the tools and application of pressurized gas to force the blank into contact with the upper tools. The binder ring assembly includes an upper ring that is heated so as to prevent the cooling of the preheated blank, and a lower ring that supports the upper ring and is fixedly connected to the upper ring by spaced apart connectors so as to minimize the heat transfer path from the heated upper ring to the lower ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary A. Kruger, John Norman Johnson, Richard H. Hammar, Chongmin Kim
  • Patent number: 7159437
    Abstract: A hot forming tool is heated with multiple electrical resistance cartridge heaters. The heaters are located in the body of the tool so as to maintain the entire forming surface within a predetermined temperature range. Numerical thermal and optimization analyses direct the placement of the heaters so that when each heating element is simultaneously powered on for an identical fraction of the time, an acceptable temperature distribution will be produced within the tool at the tool operating temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: James G. Schroth, Richard H. Hammar
  • Patent number: 7086268
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for removing a part from a forming tool and supporting the part. The apparatus includes a support member having a surface contoured to conform to a formed shape of the part and an aperture disposed in the surface. A manipulator moves the support member near the part while the part contacts the forming tool. Pressurized gas is directed toward the part to cause the release of the part from the forming tool and to cool the part. The surface supports the part to inhibit distortion as the part cools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: George Luckey, Jr., Peter Friedman, Richard Allor, Warren Copple
  • Patent number: 7066000
    Abstract: A tooling assembly for hot stretch-forming of a sheet metal workpiece. A forming tool is attached to a plate and includes a shell having a forming surface, and support walls that extend away from the shell, that terminate in a rearward surface of the forming tool, and that define open cells between the support walls. Heating elements are embedded within the forming tool for integral and uniform heating thereof. To limit conductive thermal losses from the forming surface, through the forming tool, and to the plate and surrounding environment, the open cells are provided in the forming tool and insulative support posts are disposed between the forming tool and the plate within deep counterbores in the rearward surface of the forming tool. To limit radiative and convective thermal losses, thermal insulation is disposed within the cells and between the forming tool and plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Richard Harry Hammar
  • Patent number: 7024897
    Abstract: A method of forming an elongated metal blank into a structural component having a predetermined outer configuration. The method includes providing a shape imparting cavity or shell section formed from a rigid material which includes an inner surface defining the predetermined shape, placing the metal blank into the cavity or shell section, and forming the metal blank into the component by heating axial portions of the metal blank and forcing a fluid at a high pressure into the metal blank until the metal blank at least partially conforms to at least a portion of the inner surface of the cavity or shell section to form the structural component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Hot Metal Gas Forming Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: George D. Pfaffmann, William C. Dykstra, Marc R. Matsen
  • Patent number: 7003996
    Abstract: A method of forming an elongated tubular blank into a tubular structural component having a predetermined outer configuration, the method comprising: providing a shape imparting shell formed from a low permeability, rigid material which includes an inner surface defining the predetermined shape, plugging the open ends of the tubular blank, placing the plugged blank into the shell, and forming the tubular blank into the tubular component by inductively heating axial portions of the blank by axially spaced conductors adjacent the shell while or before forcing gas at a high pressure into the plugged blank until the blank conforms to at least a portion of the inner surface of the shell to form the structural component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Hot Metal Gas Forming Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: William C. Dykstra, George D. Pfaffmann, Xin Wu
  • Patent number: 6890394
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for heating a cold worked sheet of superplastically formable metal composition to recrystallize its microstructure to a formable condition and/or to heat the sheet to a temperature for an immediate forming operation. The sheet is placed between two electrical resistance heated platens maintained at a suitable temperature for recrystallizing and/or heating the metal sheet through its side surfaces. In a preferred embodiment a critical gap is maintained between the platens and the sheet to permit rapid conductive heating of the expanding sheet without marring its surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: John E. Carsley, Richard Harry Hammar, John Robert Bradley
  • Patent number: 6884976
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method for forming a localized joint in at least one structural member are provided. The apparatus includes a tool that corresponds to a joint portion of the structural member. An induction coil is disposed in the tool, and a power source is configured to energize the induction coil. A susceptor disposed between the tool and the structural member has a Curie temperature at which the susceptor becomes paramagnetic such that an electromagnetic field induced in the susceptor by the induction coil heats the susceptor to the Curie temperature for forming the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Marc R. Matsen, Terry L. Smith
  • Patent number: 6810709
    Abstract: A heated metal forming tool including an un-heated mounting plate that is attached to a press. A tool detail is attached to the mounting plate. Insulation surrounds the tool detail to thermally isolate it from the mounting plate, and from the tool surroundings. The tool detail is heated internally by heaters disposed in zones within the tool detail. The temperature of various portions of the tool detail can be independently controlled by varying the temperature within any of the zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Harry Hammar, James Gregory Schroth
  • Patent number: 6668612
    Abstract: A device is provided comprising a guide mechanism used to position and securely hold a sheet metal blank in a sheet metal forming press that is operated at high temperatures. A sheet metal blank is initially positioned in the forming press by resting the sheet metal blank on the highest portion of the convex surface of the lower tool member and counter balancing it with a blank loading device that includes a support hand to initially hold the blank. The guide apparatus comprises an engagement tool mounted to a beam that is slidably attached to guide supports. As the upper tool member drops, the engagement tool pinches and securely holds the sheet metal blank as the guide supports slide along the beam in sync with the downward movement of the upper tool member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Gary A. Kruger, Mark G. Konopnicki
  • Patent number: 6547895
    Abstract: The superplastic forming of suitable metal alloy sheets into strong components, such as automobile body structures or panels, is improved and accomplished faster by simultaneously forming two or more substantially identical, relatively thin sheets, preferably about 2 mm or less in thickness, rather than a single sheet of the same overall thickness. For example, two or more layers of thin AA5083 sheets can be stretched formed together at about 500° C. with greater deformation and elongation than a single sheet of comparable thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: John Robert Bradley, John E. Carsley, Jacob Lyjak
  • Patent number: 6305203
    Abstract: The forming time necessary to superplastically form an object from a metal sheet is estimated by empirical analysis. The required rate of gas mass flow into a forming cavity is then determined using either a nomograph composed of four interrelated graphs, or a single graph which requires the input of fewer variables than the nomograph. The present invention may also be used to form cells of multiple sheet panels from a stack of sheets. In the latter application, forming time necessary to complete forming of the cells from an interim point where the core sheet forming pressure and the die temperature are increased from interim levels to their final values is estimated by empirical analysis. A nomograph or single graph of the present invention then determines the gas mass flow rate necessary to safely and efficiently complete forming of the cells from the foregoing interim point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Ken K. Yasui
  • Patent number: 6279425
    Abstract: A method of producing a tool or die from a model that includes producing a rigid mold from the model, forming a die shell of the model from a sheet of material in close conforming relationship over the rigid mold, and applying a reinforcing substrate to the die shell on a side of the die shell opposite that of the rigid mold. The applying step is performed while the die shell is still in close conforming relationship with the rigid mold, thereby forming the tool or die from the reinforcing substrate and die shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Inventor: Edmond Burton Cicotte
  • Patent number: 6272894
    Abstract: A blow molding method for use with tubular metal work pieces. The method involves placing a tubular metal component part into a molding tool having an internal molding cavity and at least one access passageway into which the component is inserted. The molding tool is then heated to a temperature between about 1000° F. and 1200° F. and a high pressure gas is injected into the tubular component. The high pressure gas causes the portion of the work component residing within the internal mold cavity of the molding tool to expand and assume the shape of the internal molding cavity. After a cooling period, the component is removed from the molding tool. The process is particularly well suited for forming the end support portions of side rails used with vehicle article carriers, but can be used to form a wide variety of complexly shaped forms from tubular metal workpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: JAC Products, Inc.
    Inventors: John Hudson, David Lee Prichard
  • Patent number: 6182486
    Abstract: The present invention provides a superplastic alloy-containing conductive plastic article for shielding electromagnetic interference. The conductive plastic article is a three-layer structure, in which the outer layers are plastic material, and the inner layer is a superplastic alloy. The requirements for the raw materials are that the melting point of the superplastic alloy is higher than the softening point of the plastic, and the superplastic alloy has superplasticity at a temperature higher than the softening point of the plastic. The conductive plastic article can be manufactured in one processing stage, has the same shielding effectiveness as that of a conventional metal plate article, and can take a delicate and complicated form as that of a conventional plastic article. Moreover, the superplastic alloy contained therein has a uniform thickness and good adherence to plastic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: National Science Council
    Inventor: Tung-Han Chuang
  • Patent number: 6116070
    Abstract: Described are unique prosthesis systems including superplastically-formed prosthetic elements, and methods and an apparatus for forming such elements. A preferred dental prosthesis system includes at least two osseointegrated fixtures, abutments attached to the fixtures, a bar member interconnecting the abutments, and a prosthesis detachably connected to the bar member, wherein the prosthesis includes a superplastically-formed metal element having a surface conforming to the bar member and abutments, a resin denture base attached to the metal element, and artificial teeth mounted on the resin denture base. The preferred prosthetic components are prepared by superplastic forming under temperature conditions which are repeatedly cycled above and below the transformation temperature of the metal being formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Advanced Research and Technology Institute
    Inventors: Yoshiki Oshida, Martin Thomas Barco, II
  • Patent number: 6098438
    Abstract: A superplastically formed part having tailored thickness in particular areas includes a formed blank having a preformed portion and a formed portion. The preformed portion is preformed as a bulge into a recess in a die lid, and then the bulge is reversed into a cavity in a die base as a prethinned area which delivers unthinned portions of the blank for final forming to regions of the die base cavity over which thinned portions of the blank would otherwise be formed and further thinned by final forming.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: John Robert Fischer
  • Patent number: 6085571
    Abstract: A device is disclosed for loading and positioning a sheet metal blank between upper and lower tool members adapted to close and engage the blank for the purpose of preforming and heating it in preparation for a superplastic forming operation. The loading device comprises a supported horizontal shaft carrying a rotatable counterbalanced arm with a pad on the arm for use in positioning a corner or edge of the blank. In the operation of the device: (a) the arm is balanced with a suitable counterweight for initially supporting and positioning the blank between the open tools, (b) the arm and its pad rotates downwardly with the blank as the tools are closed drawing the blank between them, (c) the rotating arm and pad release the blank as it is withdrawn from their reach, and (d) the unloaded arm and pad are returned to their initial position by the counter balance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Nelson T. Brinas, Gary A. Kruger
  • Patent number: 6067831
    Abstract: A hydroforming process for forming a component from an elongate tubular blank comprised of a deformable metal, the process including placing the blank in a die and sealing opposed ends of the tubular blank, heating the blank to a predetermined deformation temperature which is greater than 350.degree. C. but less than the melting point of the metal, supplying a gas at a predetermined pressure to the interior of the sealed tubular blank to cause deformation of said tubular blank at predetermined regions by drawing/stretching of the metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignees: GKN Sankey, Peter Amborn
    Inventors: Peter Amborn, Alexander Mark Duff
  • Patent number: 6059904
    Abstract: A method combining isothermal and high retained strain forging is described for Ni-base superalloys, particularly those which comprise a mixture of .gamma. and .gamma.' phases, and most particularly those which contain at least about 40 percent by volume of .gamma.'. The method permits the manufacture of forged articles having a fine grain size in the range of 20 .mu.m or less. The method comprises the selection of a fine-grained forging preform formed from a Ni-base superalloy, isothermal forging to develop the shape of the forged article, subsolvus forging to impart a sufficient level of retained strain to the forged article to promote subsequent recrystallization and avoid critical grain growth, and annealing to recrystallize the microstructure. The method permits the forging of relatively complex shapes and avoids the problem of critical grain growth. The method may also be used to produce location specific grain sizes and phase distributions within the forged article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mark Gilbert Benz, Michael Francis Henry, Charles Philip Blankenship, Jr., Aldo Enrique Murut
  • Patent number: 6029269
    Abstract: In one broad aspect the present invention comprises the steps of providing a titanium-based material preform and superplastically forming the preform to a final helmet shape. In another broad aspect, a first piece of fiber-reinforced titanium matrix composite material is hot isostatically pressed (HIP'ed) to form a side wall section. A second piece of fiber-reinforced titanium matrix composite material is hot pressed to form an upper dome section. The side wall section is then HIP/diffusion bonded to the upper dome section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Boeing North American, Inc.
    Inventor: Sami M. El-Soudani
  • Patent number: 5960658
    Abstract: A blow molding method for use with tubular metal work pieces. The method involves placing a tubular metal component part into a molding tool having an internal molding cavity and at least one access passageway into which the component is inserted. The molding tool is then heated to a temperature between about 1000.degree. F. and 1200.degree. F. and a high pressure gas is injected into the tubular component. The high pressure gas causes the portion of the work component residing within the internal mold cavity of the molding tool to expand and assume the shape of the internal molding cavity. After a cooling period, the component is removed from the molding tool. The process is particularly well suited for forming the end support portions of side rails used with vehicle article carriers, but can be used to form a wide variety of complexly shaped forms from tubular metal workpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: JAC Products, Inc.
    Inventors: John Hudson, David Lee Prichard
  • Patent number: 5916316
    Abstract: A superplastically formed part having tailored thickness in particular areas Includes a formed blank having a preformed portion and a formed portion. The preformed portion is preformed as a bulge into a recess in a die lid, and then the bulge is reversed into a cavity in a die base as a prethinned area which delivers unthinned portions of the blank for final forming to regions of the die base cavity over which thinned portions of the blank would otherwise be formed and further thinned by final forming.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: John Robert Fischer
  • Patent number: 5896784
    Abstract: The present invention provides a die for superplastic forming of titanium-based alloy with high-workability, which is inexpensive and easy to handle, and has detailed shape-reproducibility and no reactivity with titanium-based alloy to be processed, and has excellent accordance with it in a thermal expansion coefficient. This invention relates to a die for superplastic forming of titanium-based alloy characterized by comprising quartz, cristobalite and calcium silicate. The above die for superplastic forming of titanium-based alloy is produced by kneading a mixed powder of quartz and cristobalite, together with a binder containing a plaster additive of less than 30 weight % based on the total amount with water, forming the mixture, drying the formed product and sintering it in the atmosphere to convert the plaster additive into calcium silicate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: Japan as represented by Director General of Agency of Industrial Science and Technology
    Inventors: Akira Kamiya, Katsuyoshi Naganuma, Makoto Kato
  • Patent number: 5870304
    Abstract: A method of determining the progress of a superplastic formation process that uses controlled gas-mass flow rate of inert gas to form a part from generally one or more sheets of superplastically formable material, a process that may include selective diffusion bonding of the sheets together. The method includes using the expected initial conditions of the process to calculate a family of constant volume curves plotted on a graph of pressure versus cumulative gas-mass and then comparing the actual pressure and cumulative gas-mass that occurs during the process to determine the health of the process and to determine when the process has successfully completed. The comparison may be performed manually or automatically with a computer which has been programmed to characteristic and non-characteristic progress curve portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Ken K. Yasui
  • Patent number: 5860313
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a press-formed product having a base portion and a projecting portion which is integral with the base portion and projects in a direction different from the base portion, wherein a first forming part for forming the base portion and a second forming part which is integral with the first forming part and projects in a direction different from the first forming part are provided in a divided forming mold, and the first forming part communicates with an accommodating hole having an alloy material input port which is smaller in area than the first forming part, the method comprising the steps of moving a material placed in the accommodating hole, in the state of plastic flow by means of pressure means, and moving the material in the state of plastic flow while sequentially changing the direction of movement of the material, from the accommodating hole to the first forming part and then from the first forming part to the second forming part, thereby press-feeding and forming the alloy mat
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: YKK Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshitaka Nagai, Katsuyuki Taketani
  • Patent number: 5823033
    Abstract: There are disclosed a damper plate for a rotary machine and a method for producing thereof which makes it possible to produce a honeycomb-type damper plate with accurate dimensions and reasonable cost. In the method for producing a damper plate for sealing between a rotating portion and a stationary portion of a rotary machine and cushioning said rotating portion, the damper plate has a plurality of convex portions and concave portions, and a plurality of the convex portions and the concave portions are processed by a superplastic processing method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Hirokazu Takayama, Toshiyuki Ogawa, Atsushi Kaneko
  • Patent number: 5823032
    Abstract: A process for superplastically forming a part from a blank of superplastic material such as titanium alloy, including enclosing and capturing a sheet of superplastic material having uniform thickness between a die lid and a die base. The die lid has a deep recess where localized prethinning of the blank would minimize excessive thinning of the formed part elsewhere on its topography. The peripheral edges of the blank is clamped between the lid and the base by exerting a squeezing force, typically be a press, and the die is heated, along with the blank, to the superplastic temperature of the blank. The die base is pressurized to preform portions of the blank opposite the lid recess into the recess to form a prethinned bulge. After preforming, the die lid above the blank is pressurized to reverse the prethinned bulge down into the cavity and to form the blank into the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: John Robert Fischer
  • Patent number: 5823034
    Abstract: A superplastic forming (SPF) method using a self-contained die obviates the need for external containment bands or rings. The method and die are particularly advantageous for use in forming generally planar parts but may also be used to form parts of a more cylindrical shape. The die includes two or more die segments, each of which is unitarily formed from a suitable material such as graphite or ceramic. Each die segment has a unitarily formed connecting portion for interlocking it to another die segment. The connection portion may be a tab having a bore through which a pin may be extended to interlock the die segments. The die may swing open and closed in a hinged manner or be completely separable. In accordance with the method, a gas-tight preform assembly made of a metal such as titanium alloy is placed in the die. The die and preform assembly are heated in a vacuum furnace. Gas is injected into the preform assembly, expanding it to conform to the shape of the interior of the die.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: Hyperform Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald O. Nelepovitz
  • Patent number: 5759305
    Abstract: A method for forming nickel base superalloy articles of manufacture by a combination of hot die forging, isothermal forging and heat treatment below and above the solvus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mark Gilbert Benz, Edward Lee Raymond, Robert Donald Kissinger, Eric Scott Huron, Charles Philip Blankenship, Jr., Michael Francis Henry
  • Patent number: 5749254
    Abstract: A method for pneumatic forming of foil workpieces includes the steps of positioning a foil workpiece between a first and a second forming element, the second forming element having at least one forming cavity, moving the first and second forming elements into a clamping relationship with the foil workpiece, increasing pneumatic pressure between the first forming element and the foil workpiece to form the foil workpiece into the forming cavity, supplying a gas between the foil and the second forming element sufficient to enable the foil workpiece to move along the surface of the second forming element during the forming of the foil workpiece into the forming cavity, and removing the foil workpiece in a formed condition from between the first and second forming elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Owens-Corning Fiberglas Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Herbert L. Hall, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5737954
    Abstract: Sheet materials are superplastically formed and optionally diffusion bonded into structures, by directly electrically resistance heating the sheets and forming them with a controlled gas-mass flow while the dies in which they are formed may remain relatively cool. The dies include electrodes and thermocouples placed therein, and gas interface ports that connect to the sheets to be formed to allow rapid formation of structures. Some of the gas interface ports may become sealably attached to the part during the formation process so that the structures may be removed from the dies hot, thus allowing a high die throughput.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Ken K. Yasui
  • Patent number: 5692406
    Abstract: An improved die for a superplastic formation process and the process that uses an interface for pressurized gas that is part of the forming die so that tube welding to the forming pack can be eliminated. In one embodiment, the interface is fixed to the die and in a second, for use to pressurize the interior volume of finished parts with inert gas when the finished parts are to be removed from the die hot (1400.degree. F.), the interface becomes welded to the pack during the forming process so that the interior of the part can be flooded with inert gas during the cool down process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 2, 1997
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Ken K. Yasui
  • Patent number: 5689987
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the progress of a superplastic formation process that uses cumulative gas-mass outflow from a forming part being formed from generally one or more sheets of superplastically formable material, a process that may include selective diffusion bonding of the sheets together. The method includes using the expected initial conditions of the process to determine the gas-mass cumulative exhaust at room temperature and pressure. The method is advantageous over inlet measuring methods where high pressure gas must be measured and any small hole in the system results in large errors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Ken K. Yasui
  • Patent number: 5671631
    Abstract: To provide a hot working method which can reduce working resistance during the early stage of hot plastic working, particularly extrusion and forging using a die.A hot plastic working method characterized by comprising the step of plastically working, using a die, a material having a structure of not more than 50 .mu.m in average grain diameter with dispersed spherical grains ranging in size from 10 to 200 nm, the working material having a recess formed on a surface thereof in its site facing a closed space formed by abutting the working material against the die surface at the time of plastic working.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yoshihisa Serizawa, Yoshiharu Miyake
  • Patent number: 5661992
    Abstract: A superplastic forming system includes a free standing generally block-shaped ceramic monolithic die base having a bottom surface on which the die rests, and a top surface, opposite to the bottom surface, in which a forming cavity is formed and which is surrounded by a contact surface. The forming cavity has a shape like the desired shape of sheet metal parts to be formed by superplastic forming in the die. A die lid having a horizontal cross sectional shape and size approximately equal to the die base, and having a contact surface corresponding in size and contour to the die base contact surface is placed on the base with the contact surfaces aligning and in contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 2, 1997
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Daniel G. Sanders
  • Patent number: 5649439
    Abstract: A tool for sealing two ends of a tube of superplastic material in preparation for superplastically forming the tube against inside surfaces of a die by gas pressure inside of the tube. The tool has a longitudinal axis that is coincident with the longitudinal axis of the tube when the tool is positioned in the tube, and has two end caps with a cross-sectional shape similar to the cross-sectional shape of the tube ends on a plane perpendicular to the axis. A central connecting tube extends between and connects the two end caps. The end caps are made of a material having a coefficient of thermal expansion that is greater than the coefficient of thermal expansion of the tube, and expand, on heating, into intimate sealing contact with the inside surface of the tube ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Assignee: The Boeing Co.
    Inventor: David W. Schulz
  • Patent number: 5647239
    Abstract: A die for superplastically forming a blank of superplastic material to make a part includes a die base enclosing a cavity having a topography shaped like the part, and a die lid shaped and sized to fit over the die base and engage a peripheral surface of the die base around the cavity. The die lid has an underside communicating with the die cavity and a recess opening in the underside positioned in the die lid to overlie an area on the die cavity at which the blank othewise would experience insufficient thinning during superplastic forming of the blank. Gas vents are provided in the base and the lid for first delivering forming gas under pressure into the cavity to preform the blank into the lid recess to prethin the blank in the thick areas, and thereafter vent the cavity gas pressure and deliver forming gas under pressure to the lid to form the blank into the cavity in the die base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: John Robert Fischer
  • Patent number: 5592842
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for forming details in a foil or plate material by means of superplastic forming, wherein the foil or plate material is heated over a selected localized area to a suitable temperature and simultaneously exposed to a fluid pressure so that the material is slowly deformed to a predetermined desired shape. Localized heating of the foil or plate is provided by guiding a laser beam (17) over the selected localized area of the foil or plate (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1997
    Assignee: Aktiebolaget Electrolux
    Inventor: Olli J. Nyrhila
  • Patent number: 5467626
    Abstract: A free standing, self-supporting ceramic superplastic forming die assembly having a configuration that provides sufficient strength to resist a compressive load exerted by a press to hold a die lid on a die body against an oppositely directed force generated by gas at superplastic forming pressures within the die, and provides sufficient tensile strength, when under pressure of compressive loads exerted by the press to resist internal bursting force exerted by gas at superplastic forming pressures within the die, thereby making possible the use of a ceramic die for superplastic forming applications without the need of a surrounding containment pressure vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1995
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Daniel G. Sanders