ATI has been granted a patent for a method of heat treating a powder metallurgy nickel-base alloy article. The method involves placing the article in a furnace at a specific start temperature, increasing the temperature at a controlled rate, solution treating the article for a predetermined time, and then cooling it to ambient temperature. The solution temperature should not exceed the gamma prime solvus temperature of the alloy, and the article should be treated for no longer than 7 hours. GlobalData’s report on ATI gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on ATI, AES Protocols was a key innovation area identified from patents. ATI's grant share as of September 2023 was 70%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Heat treating a powder metallurgy nickel-base alloy article
A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11725267B2) discloses a method for heat treating a powder metallurgy nickel-base alloy article. The method involves several steps to achieve the desired properties in the alloy.
The method begins by placing the article in a furnace at a start temperature that is 80°C to 200°C below the gamma prime solvus temperature of the nickel-base alloy. The temperature in the furnace is then increased to a solution temperature at a ramp rate ranging from 30°C per hour to 70°C per hour. The solution temperature should not exceed the gamma prime solvus temperature of the alloy. The article is then solution treated for a maximum duration of 7 hours. Finally, the article is cooled to ambient temperature.
The patent also specifies additional details and variations of the method. For instance, claim 2 states that the ramp rate can be in the range of 50°C per hour to 70°C per hour. Claim 3 and claim 4 provide different ranges for the start temperature, which can be 110°C to 200°C below the gamma prime solvus temperature or 160°C to 200°C below the gamma prime solvus temperature, respectively.
The nickel-base alloy composition is described in claim 5, which states the weight percentages of various elements present in the alloy. These elements include cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, aluminum, titanium, tantalum, hafnium, zirconium, carbon, boron, niobium, tungsten, iron, nickel, and incidental impurities.
Claims 6 and 7 discuss the grain size of the alloy. Claim 6 specifies that the alloy should have an average grain size of 10 micrometers or less. Claim 7 introduces the concept of coarse grain and fine grain populations, with a significant difference in average grain size between the two populations.
The patent also covers additional steps and variations, such as forging the powder metallurgy nickel-base alloy article before heat treatment (claim 9), maintaining a temperature tolerance of ±14°C during solution treating (claim 11 and claim 14), and variations in the solution temperature during treatment (claim 12).
In summary, this granted patent presents a method for heat treating a powder metallurgy nickel-base alloy article, providing specific temperature ranges, ramp rates, and durations for achieving the desired properties. The patent also covers variations in start temperature, alloy composition, grain size, and additional steps in the process.