Method of producing composite materials including metallic matrix composite reinforcements


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United States Patent and Trademark Office


Composite materials are disclosed comprising a continuous matrix with composite reinforcements therein. The composite materials may include a continuous metal, metal alloy or intermetallic matrix with intermetallic matrix composite reinforcements dispersed therein. Suitable metals for the continuous matrix include Al, Ti, Cu and Fe, and alloys and intermetallics thereof. The composite reinforcements comprise ceramic particles dispersed in a continuous intermetallic matrix. Suitable intermetallics include alumnides of Ti, Cu, Ni, Mg and Fe, while suitable ceramics include refractory metal borides, carbides, nitrides, sulicides and sulfides. In one embodiment, the ceramic particles are formed in-situ within the intermetallic matrix of the composite reinforcements. The composite materials are produced by powder metallurgical techniques wherein powders of the continuous matrix component and powders of the composite reinforcement are blended and consolidated. The composite materials may be subjected to deformation processes such as extruding, rolling and forging during or after the consolidation step to provide materials with improved properties.