Patent Number: 7,132,077

Title: Method and apparatus for containing and ejecting a thixotropic metal slurry

Abstract: A container system including a vessel for holding a thixotropic semi-solid aluminum alloy slurry during its processing as a billet and an ejection system for cleanly discharging the processed thixotropic semi-solid aluminum billet. The crucible is preferably formed from a chemically and thermally stable material (such as graphite or a ceramic). The crucible defines a mixing volume. The crucible ejection mechanism may include a movable bottom portion mounted on a piston or may include a solenoid coil for inducing an electromotive force in the electrically conducting billet for urging it from the crucible. During processing, a molten aluminum alloy precursor is transferred into the crucible and vigorously stirred and controlledly cooled to form a thixotropic semi-solid billet. Once the billet is formed, the ejection mechanism is activated to discharge the billet from the crucible. The billet is discharged onto a shot sleeve and immediately placed in a mold and molded into a desired form.

Inventors: Norville; Samuel M. D. (Jackson, TN), Lombard; Patrick J. (Jackson, TN), Wang; Shaupoh (Jackson, TN)

Assignee: Brunswick Corporation

International Classification: C21B 3/00 (20060101); C21C 5/42 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2019-11-07 0:00:00