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1. WO2016148724 - MESH REINFORCEMENT FOR METAL-MATRIX COMPOSITE TOOLS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A mold assembly system, comprising:

a mold assembly that defines an infiltration chamber used for forming an infiltrated metal-matrix composite (MMC) tool;

reinforcement materials deposited within the infiltration chamber;

a binder material that infiltrates the reinforcement materials; and

at least one preformed mesh positioned within the infiltration chamber and embedded within the reinforcement materials, the at least one preformed mesh including a porous body and providing skeletal reinforcement to the infiltrated MMC tool following infiltration.

2. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the infiltrated MMC tool is a tool selected from the group consisting of oilfield drill bits or cutting tools, non-retrievable drilling components, aluminum drill bit bodies associated with casing drilling of wellbores, drill-string stabilizers, a cone for roller-cone drill bits, a model for forging dies used to fabricate support arms for roller-cone drill bits, an arm for fixed reamers, an arm for expandable reamers, an internal component associated with expandable reamers, a sleeve attachable to an uphole end of a rotary drill bit, a rotary steering tool, a logging-while-drilling tool, a measurement-while-drilling tool, a side-wall coring tool, a fishing spear, a washover tool, a rotor, a stator and/or housing for downhole drilling motors, blades for downhole turbines, and any combination thereof.

3. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh further includes one or more standoffs that extend from the porous body toward an inner wall of the infiltration chamber, and wherein the one or more standoffs engage the inner wall of the infiltration chamber and provide an offset spacing between the porous body and the inner wall of the infiltration chamber.

4. The mold assembly system of claim 3, wherein the offset spacing varies along all or a portion of the inner wall of the infiltration chamber.

5. The mold assembly system of claim 3, wherein the one or more standoffs comprise a structure selected from the group consisting of a rod, a pin, a post, a vertically-disposed fin, a horizontally-disposed plate, any combination thereof, and the like.

6. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the porous body exhibits a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of circular, oval, undulating, gear-shaped, elliptical, regular polygonal, irregular polygon, undulating, crenelated, crenelated

with sharp corners, crenelated with rounded corners, asymmetric geometries, and any combination thereof.

7. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh is suspended within the infiltration chamber.

8. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises a material selected from the group consisting of a metal, a metal alloy, a superalloy, an intermetallic, a boride, a carbide, a nitride, an oxide, a ceramic, diamond, metallic foam, and any combination thereof.

9. The mold assembly system of claim 8, wherein the metal comprises a stiff metal selected from the group consisting of beryllium, hafnium, iridium, niobium, osmium, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, tantalum, vanadium, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, any combination thereof, and any alloy of the preceding with the binder material.

10. The mold assembly system of claim 8, wherein the metal comprises a ductile metal selected from the group consisting of copper, silver, lead, tin, indium, bismuth, lithium, magnesium, silicon, antimony, gold, zinc, and any alloy thereof.

11. The mold assembly system of claim 8, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises two or more of the materials.

12. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh is fabricated using at least one of additive manufacturing, sintering, powder metallurgy, casting, mechanical weaving, mechanical fastening, tack welding, brazing, laser hole drilling, physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, sputtering, pulsed laser deposition, chemical solution deposition, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, cathodic arc deposition, electrohydrodynamic deposition, ion-assisted electron-beam deposition, electrolytic plating, electroless plating, thermal evaporation, dipping portions of the preformed mesh in a molten metal bath, and any combination thereof.

13. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises one or more inserts positioned at select locations within the infiltration chamber.

14. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises a plurality of three-dimensional, polyhedron skeletal elements conjoined to form the at least one preformed mesh.

15. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises a first preformed mesh and a second preformed mesh each positioned within the infiltration chamber and offset from each other in a nested relationship.

16. The mold assembly system of claim 15, further comprising one or more standoffs extending between the first and second preformed meshes.

17. The mold assembly system of claim 15, wherein the first and second preformed meshes comprise different materials.

18. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the infiltrated MMC tool is a drill bit having a plurality of blades and the at least one preformed mesh comprises one or more preformed meshes that follow a contour of one of the plurality of blades.

19. The mold assembly system of claim 1, wherein the infiltrated MMC tool is a drill bit having a plurality of blades and the at least one preformed mesh comprises one or more preformed meshes that extend parallel to an angle of one of the plurality of blades, perpendicular to the angle of one of the plurality of blades, or at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to the angle of one of the plurality of blades.

20. A method for fabricating an infiltrated metal-matrix composite (MMC) tool, comprising:

positioning at least one preformed mesh within an infiltration chamber of a mold assembly, the at least one preformed mesh including a porous body;

depositing reinforcement materials into the infiltration chamber and thereby embedding the at least one preformed mesh in the reinforcement materials;

infiltrating the reinforcement materials with a binder material and thereby providing the infiltrated MMC tool; and

structurally reinforcing the infiltrated MMC tool with the at least one preformed mesh.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the at least one preformed mesh further includes one or more standoffs that extend from the porous body toward an inner wall of the infiltration chamber, and wherein positioning the at least one preformed mesh within the infiltration chamber comprises:

engaging the inner wall of the infiltration chamber with the one or more standoffs; and

provide an offset spacing between the body and the inner wall of the infiltration chamber with the one or more standoffs.

22. The method of claim 20, wherein positioning the at least one preformed mesh within the infiltration chamber comprises suspending the at least one preformed mesh within the infiltration chamber.

23. The method of claim 20, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises a material selected from the group consisting of a metal, a metal alloy, a superalloy, an intermetallic, a boride, a carbide, a nitride, an oxide, a ceramic, diamond, metallic foam, and any combination thereof.

24. The method of claim 20, wherein the metal comprises a stiff metal selected from the group consisting of beryllium, hafnium, iridium, niobium, osmium, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, tantalum, vanadium, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, any combination thereof, and any alloy of the preceding with the binder material.

25. The method of claim 20, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises one or more inserts and wherein positioning the at least one preformed mesh within the infiltration chamber comprises positioning the one or more inserts at select locations within the infiltration chamber.

26. The method of claim 20, wherein the at least one preformed mesh comprises a first preformed mesh and a second preformed mesh and wherein positioning the at least one preformed mesh within the infiltration chamber comprises positioning the first and second preformed meshes within the infiltration chamber offset from each other and in a nested relationship.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the first and second preformed meshes comprise different materials and wherein structurally reinforcing the infiltrated MMC tool with the at least one preformed mesh comprises:

reinforcing the infiltrated MMC tool with rigidity using the first preformed mesh; and reinforcing the infiltrated MMC tool with ductility using the second preformed mesh.

28. The method of claim 20, wherein the infiltrated MMC tool is a drill bit having a plurality of blades and the at least one preformed mesh comprises one or more preformed meshes, and wherein positioning the one or more preformed meshes in a corresponding one or more blade cavities defined in the mold assembly.