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CHANGING THE PHYSICAL STRUCTURE OF NON-FERROUS METALS AND NON-FERROUS ALLOYS (surface treatment of metallic material involving at least one process provided for in class C23 and at least one process covered by this subclass, C23F 17/00)
Definition statement
This subclass covers:

Changing the physical (metallurgical) structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working;

Changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by special physical methods, e.g. treatment with neutrons.

The term "non-ferrous alloys" refers to alloys based essentially on metals other than iron.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

C21D provides for processes of modifying the physical structure of ferrous metals or alloys, general devices for heat treatment of ferrous or non-ferrous metals or alloys, and making ferrous metals or alloys malleable by decarburization, tempering or other metallurgical treatments.

C22F provides for decarburization of non-ferrous metal and non-ferrous alloys to modify the physical structure thereof. Subclass C22B covers the decarburization of metalliferous material for purposes of refining.

C23F 17/00 provides for surface treatment of metallic material involving at least one process provided for in class C23 and at least one process covered in C22F.

When the alloy is produced by a specifically described method (examples, claims), then the method is classified as well in the appropriate subclasses C21D, B22F, C23C, B23K, C25D, C25B, B22D, B21J, B21B, B21C etc.

When the alloy is intended for a particular use/product then the use/product is classified as well.

References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass does not cover:

Working metallic powder, powder metallurgical apparatus or processes

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Electrolytic production or refining of metals

Single crystals or homogeneous polycrystalline material with defined structure; production thereof

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Jewellery

Biomedical applications, stents

Dental alloys

Catalysts

Mechanical metal-working

Rolling of metal

Manufacture of metal sheets/bars/wires/tubes otherwise than by rolling

Working or processing of sheet metal or metal tubes, rods, or profiles without essentially removing material; punching

Forging

Casting of metals

Making alloys

Soldering/Brazing/Welding compositions

Apparatus for mechanical working of metal

Layered products

Lithographic printing plates

Vehicle parts

Hydrogen storage alloys

Processing of pig iron, e.g. refining, manufacture of wrought iron or steel

General methods or devices for heat treatment, e.g. hardening, quenching, tempering

Alloys

Removing material from alloys to produce alloys of different constitution

Coating material with metallic material, cementation (carburizing, nitriding, etc)/Sputtering targets

Non-mechanical removal of metallic material from surfaces; inhibiting corrosion of metallic material; inhibiting incrustation in general; multi-step processes for surface treatment of metallic material

Steam turbines, turbine rotors Blades, turbine blades

Valve guides/valve seat inserts

Gas turbine plants

Bearings, shafts/crankshafts

Sliding member

Heat exchangers

Nuclear reactors/reactor fuel elements

Electrical wires

Magnets

Contacts

Semiconductor devices/detailsBonding wires, lead frames

Batteries

Electrical connectors

Electronic components

Special rules of classification within this subclass

When the method is intended for providing a particular use/product then the use/ product is classified as well (see informative references for some of them).

When the composition of the alloy is disclosed, either in claims or description, the document is also classified in appropriate groups of subclass C22C.

Processes concerning SMA alloys (shape memory alloys) having the ability when originally shaped at a first temperature and reshaped at a second temperature to undergo a reversible thermoelastic transition and resume its original shape when returned to the first temperature or an intermediate temperature are covered by C22F 1/006 as well as C22F 1/10 and C22F 1/08

The phrase "based on" indicates in general at least 50% by weight of the specified constituent or of the specified group of constituents.

The base of the alloy in a broader sense is interpreted as the metallic element being the largest constituent of the alloy, regardless of whether or not any one element comprises at least 50 wt%. For example in an alloy with Ni-Ti (~55% Ni) , the base of the alloy is Ni and in an alloy with Co 40 wt%, Ni 30 wt% Al 30 wt%, the base of the alloy is Co.

In the case the alloy contains less than 50 wt% of each constituent, then in addition to the C22C corresponding to the major constituent(s), at least one C22C 30/00 group is also given depending on the rest of the main alloying elements.

In the groups C22F 1/04, C22F 1/16-C22F 1/18, C22F 3/00 the last place rule is followed (classification in the last appropriate place) combined with multiple classifications, for a classification of a 100% disclosed alloy composition.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

Alloy

A composition of plural elements at least one of which is a free metal. It also includes material containing any combination of fibres, filaments, whiskers and particles, e.g. carbides, diamond, oxides, borides, nitrides, silicides, or other metal compounds, e.g. oxynitrides or sulfides embedded in a metallic matrix

Recrystallization

After all metal crystals have been dissolved by heating enough to lose its structural strength, the metal temperature then falls, allowing the crystals to re-form

Aging (or ageing)

A process in which the hardness or strength of a metal alloy having a constituent in supersaturated solid solution is increased over time as the constituent precipitates out as a secondary phase containing the constituent. When occurring at room temperature the process is termed "natural aging", while a process that occurs when subjecting the metal alloy to elevated temperature is termed "artificial aging". Aging for a longer time than that corresponding to maximum strength or hardness at the particular temperature is termed "over-ageing".

Hardening

The increase in resistance to deformation

Precipitation hardening

As the quenched alloy ages, a new material precipitates out of the metallic crystal lattice, filling in abutting spaces, and increasing hardness

Normalizing

A process of heating metallic material above its critical temperature and cooling in air thereby establishing a fine uniform grain size and improving the micro-structural uniformity

Quenching

The rapid cooling of metallic material either from elevated temperature to room temperature or cooling of metal to sub-ambient temperature, at a specific rate, with a given medium.

Tempering

Heating of a previously quenched or normalized metallic material to an elevated temperature, and then cooling under suitable conditions to obtain the desired mechanical properties.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the words "aging", "precipitation", "hardening" and "strengthening" are often used as synonyms.

It should be noted that these terms historically have specific definitions to those in the metallurgical arts.

Changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working (apparatus for mechanical working of metal B21, B23, B24)
Definition statement
This group covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Alloy compositions

Alloy compositions

General methods or devices for heat treatment, e.g. hardening, quenching, tempering

Coating metallic material

Special rules of classification within this group

In these groups, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications.

Glossary of terms
In this group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

SMA alloys (shape memory alloys)

alloys having the ability when originally shaped at a first temperature and reshaped at a second temperature to undergo a reversible thermoelastic transition and resume its original shape when returned to the first temperature or an intermediate temperature

Quenching

Cooling of metallic material at a specific rate, with a given medium.

of aluminium or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of aluminium or aluminium alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy is classified in C22C 21/00-C22C 21/18 in the corresponding sub-group.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making aluminium alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on aluminium

Special rules of classification within this group

In these groups, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications.

Depending on the next major constituent to Al, the corresponding C22F 1/00 class is given. In a case of more than one next major constituent(s), then more than one C22F 1/00 classes are given.

An Al-alloy with Si as the next major constituent comprising in addition Mg as alloying element is classified in C22F 1/043 but also in C22F 1/043 and corresponding C22C 21/00 classes. For example an alloy Al 60%, Si 21%, Mg 19%, will be classified in C22F 1/043 but also in C22F 1/043.

The alloy composition(s) is/are indexed in the Alloys database.

of magnesium or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of magnesium or magnesium alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy are classified as well in C22C 23/00-C22C 23/06 in the corresponding sub-group.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Alloys based on magnesium

Soldering/welding materials

of copper or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of copper or copper alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy is classified as well in C22C 9/00-C22C 9/10 in the corresponding sub-group.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Jewellery

Biomedical applications, stents

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on copper

of nickel or cobalt or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of copper or copper alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy are classified as well in C22C 19/00-C22C 19/07 in the corresponding sub-group.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on copper

of chromium or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of chromium or chromium alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy needs to be classified as well in C22C 27/06.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on chromium

of lead or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of lead or lead alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy is classified as well in C22C 11/00 - C22C 11/10.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on lead

of noble metals or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of noble metals or alloys based thereon by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The alloy needs to be classified as well in C22C 5/00 - C22C 5/10

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Jewellery

Dental alloy

Catalysts

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on noble metals

Special rules of classification within this group

In this group, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications. The alloy is classified as well in C22C 5/00 - C22C 5/10.

Glossary of terms
In this subgroup, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

Noble metal based alloys

alloys with the noble metal (Ag, Au, platinum group) as the major constituent i.e. the base of the alloy

of other metals or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of other metals or alloys based thereon, i.e. with Zn, Cd, Ti, Zr by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Special rules of classification within this group

In this group, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications

{of zinc or cadmium or alloys based thereon}
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of zinc or cadmium or alloys based thereon, by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on zinc

Alloys based on cadmium

Special rules of classification within this group

In this group, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications, respectively with C22C symbols for the alloy composition.

high-melting or refractory metals or alloys based thereon
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of refractory metal based alloys other than Ti-, Zr- based alloys i.e. with Re, V, Cr, Nb, Mo, Hf, Ta, W as the major constituent i.e. the base of the alloy, by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

When the alloy composition is disclosed, then it is classified as well in C22C 27/00- C22C 27/06.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on refractory metal

Special rules of classification within this group

In this groups, the last place rule is followed combined with multiple classifications. Depending on the base of the alloy the appropriate C22F class is given combined with classification of said alloy in C22C.

{of titanium or alloys based thereon}
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of titanium or alloys based thereon i.e. with Ti as the major constituent i.e. the base of the alloy, by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on refractory metal

Special rules of classification within this group

When the alloy composition is disclosed, then it is classified as well in C22C 14/00.

{of zirconium or alloys based thereon}
Definition statement
This subgroup covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of zirconium or alloys based thereon i.e. with Zr as the major constituent i.e. the base of the alloy, by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subgroup does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Making alloys by powder metallurgy

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

Soldering/welding materials

Alloys based on refractory metal

Special rules of classification within this group

When the alloy composition is disclosed, then it is classified as well in C22C 16/00.

Changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by special physical methods, e.g. treatment with neutrons
Definition statement
This group covers:

Methods of changing the physical structure of non-ferrous metals or alloys by heat treatment or by hot or cold working which are not covered in any of B22F, B21B, B21J, C21D, C25C.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

General methods or devices for heat treatments, e.g. annealing, hardening, quenching, tempering are classified in C21D 1/00

References relevant to classification in this group
This group does not cover:

Methods of making alloys by powder metallurgy

Heat treatment, e.g. annealing, quenching, tempering, adapted for particular metallic articles; furnaces therefor

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:

General methods or devices for heat treatments, e.g. annealing, hardening, quenching, tempering

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Last Modified: 10/11/2013