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Патент USA US3036948

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United States Patent f?ce
Patented May 29, 1962
at such a rate of feed and adjustment that they are con
verted into roughly spherical particles which are spongy
in their interiors but burnished on their exterior surfaces.
Percy W. Hudson, 305 Main St., Old Saybrook, Conn.
No Drawing. Filed June 10, 1958, Ser. No. 740,997
2 Claims. (Cl. 148--13.2)
This conformation of the powder is highly suitable for
use for the fabrication of parts by the procedures of
powder metallurgy. The porous inner portions of the
particles promote compressibility while the burnished sur
faces promote ?ow of the powder and excellent "s'inter
This invention relates to a method of making copper
powder suitable for use in powder metallurgical proce
ing with their attendant manufacturing advantages and
dures and for other purposes.
10 the improved physical attributes of the resulting articles.
lmpure copper powder commonly is made by precipi
In a modi?cation of the above described process the
tation from aqueous solution of copper salts such as the
wet precipitated copper, contaminated with chloride is
chloride by means of less noble metals such as iron and
brought in the form of a wet mass or sludge into contact
aluminum and normally is contaminated by chlorides
with metallic aluminum preferably in the form of thin
such as copper chloride and the chloride of the precipi 15 strips or wires and the mixture is placed in an aluminum
tating metal e.g. iron or aluminum chloride. It has been
container or conveyor and heated in a neutral or inert
found to be very dif?cult to eliminate the last trace of
atmosphere to a temperature of 800-l200° F. In this
chlorides from such a precipitated copper powder by
process the metallic aluminum reacts with any copper
washing with water.
chloride present liberating metallic copper and forming
An object of my invention is to provide a process for 20 aluminum chloride which is vaporized and removed in
the elimination of contaminating chlorides from precipi
the heating operation.
tated copper powder and to recover the puri?ed copper
The result of the heating step is a soft powder and
powder in a useful form. According to one modi?cation
does not require milling to separate the individual par
of my invention the puri?ed copper powder is recovered
ticles which have an average particle size of about 3
in the form of rounded relatively coarse powder or gran 25 microns and a purity of 99.8+%. This powder is use
ules having smooth outer surfaces and porous interiors
ful directly for a variety of purposes and may be heated
and suitable for use for powder metallurgy. According to
to about 1500° F. and worked up into roughly spherical
another modi?cation of my invention the puri?ed copper
granules suitable for powder metallurgy as described
powder is recovered in a very ?nely divided form having
a particle size of the order of 3 microns.
I claim:
In accordance with my invention the impure copper
1. Method of purifying copper powder which is con
powder, contaminated with chlorine in the form of one
taminated with copper chloride which comprises heating
or more metal chlorides, e.g. precipitated copper still
the powder to a temperature of about 1500“ F. in an inert
wet with the solution from which it has been precipitated,
atmosphere to vaporize and remove the copper chloride
is heated up to a temperature of about 1500° F. in an 35 and convert the copper powder into a spongy mass, cool
atmosphere of an inert gas such as helium or argon. At
ing said spongy mass, pulling the spongy mass apart to
this temperature the chlorides present e.g. copper chlo
a particle size suitable for powder metallurgy and sub
ride, aluminum chloride and/or iron chloride, vaporize.
The inert gas atmosphere is moved, if necessary to carry
away the vaporized chlorides. The inert gas may be cir
culated and treated at a suitable point in the circuit, e.g.
washed with water, to remove the vaporized chlorides
therefrom and if desired the vaporized chlorides may
thus be recovered as a valuable by-product of the proc
ess. Copper chloride, for instance may be recovered and
used, by precipitation, to make more copper powder.
The heating of the impure copper powder in the inert
gas is continued until the desired degree of purity is at
tained. The heating time will depend upon the method
of heating e.g. the size of the body of powder treated
and the e?iciency of its contact with the inert gas. A
jecting the resulting particles to the action of a hammer
mill to convert them into spherical particles having
40 smooth surfaces and spongy interiors.
2. A method of purifying copper powder which is con
taminated with copper chloride which comprises contact
ing the powder in the form of a wet mass with metallic
aluminum, heating the powder while still in contact with
45 metallic aluminum in an inert atmosphere to a tempera
ture of from 800° F. to 1200*‘ F. to react. the copper
ing the resulting copper powder to about 1500“ F. in an
50 inert atmosphere to form a friable spongy mass, tearing
few minutes heating after the powder has attained the
heating temperature generally is adequate. After the
heating operation the copper powder will be in the form
of a friable spongy mass.
This sponge is cooled to 55
room temperature in the inert atmosphere in which it
was heated and is then pulled apart by a tearing action
by means of a mill which does not compress the powder.
Such a mill is available on the market e.g. a rotating plate
chloride with aluminum and form aluminum chloride
and to vaporize and expel said aluminum chloride, heat
said mass apart to a particle size suitable for powder
metallurgy and subjecting the resulting particles to the
action of a hammer mill to convert them into spherical
particles having smooth surfaces and spongy interiors.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
mill manufactured by the Robin Manufacturing Co. of 60 2,787,534
Muncie, Pa. After the sponge has been pulled apart the
resulting sponge particles are run through a hammer mill
Winter ______________ __ Dec. 11, 1956
Golwynne ___________ __ Apr. '2, 1957
Great Britain ________ __ July 12, 1928
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