The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 55 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's granted patent relating to bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys which is also known for marketing purposes, liquid metal. One tiny aspect of this patent covers how liquid metal can be applied to Apple Products to set their embossed logo as noted in our cover graphic.
Granted Patent: Rapid Discharge Forming Process for Amorphous Metal (Liquid Metal)
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to rapid discharge processes for amorphous metal forming, and products made by these processes.
Apple's granted patent is a proposed solution according to embodiments herein for nano- and micro-replication in metals is to use bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys. The embodiments herein include methods for forming nano- and/or micro-replication directly embossed in a bulk solidifying amorphous alloy comprising a metal alloy by superplastic forming of the bulk solidifying amorphous alloy at a temperature greater than a glass transition temperature (Tg) of the metal alloy.
Bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys are also referred to as liquid metal. In the figure below we're shown how the embossed Apple logo is created with a liquid metal process.
Apple's patent FIG. 19(a) noted above (labeled as "Pressing text+logos") shows the process of forming a logo or text on a metallic glass workpiece using a positive mold of a tool or punch and performing a rapid discharge forming on the workpiece by locally heating up the surface in the vicinity of the electrode or heating the whole part and then pressing the shaped electrodes on the heated surface so as to leave an imprint on the surface of the metallic glass workpiece as shown in FIG. 19(b) having a label stating "Imprinted logo."
Apple's granted patent 9,539,628 covers a lot of ground including amorphous alloys; ohmic heating technology; injection molding apparatuses, molding and thermoforming bulk solidifying alloy glasses; heat staking; forging text and logos and imparting surface textures and more.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q4 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review the details of this invention click here.
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