Piezoelectric Ceramic-Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites for Vibration Damping and Structural Applications

Innovative approaches have been devised to create multifunctional metal matrix composites offering effective structural and passive damping capabilities. Both functions are derived from an in situ-synthesized dispersion of ceramic crystals within the metallic matrix. In their role as structural-effecting entities, the ceramic crystal dispersions are in a form suitable for effective strengthening and property enhancement. As damping entities, the crystals are capable of significant energy absorption as a consequence of the resistance-based heating which occurs if subjected to mechanical or acoustic vibration. In both regards, models indicate the potential for significant property benefit. The metal matrix composites have been created using a variety of in situ-based processing techniques, including direct metal blending, mechanical alloying, and solvent assisted reaction synthesis. Alloy matrix systems examined to date include alloys of copper, nickel, and titanium; however, the process is generic to essentially any metal/piezoelectric system.Discontinuous ferroelastic ceramic particulates dispersed in a metal matrix provide exceptional passive damping capabilities. The improvements result from the conversion of strain to twinning of the ferroelastic domains in response to applied stress.These composites offer the opportunity to develop products with improved passive damping capabilities and a high degree of structural strength. Commercial applications include but are not limited to the manufacture of components useful in vehicles, marine propellers and building materials.

Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
US Utility *United States 10/851,022 7,126,257 5/21/2004 10/24/2006 Abandoned
US Continuation-in-Part *United States 11/584,861 7,586,233 10/23/2006 9/8/2009 Abandoned
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