Packed bed carburization of a tantalum or tantalum alloy object. A method for producing corrosion-resistant tantalum or tantalum alloy objects is described. The method includes the steps of placing the object in contact with a carburizing pack, heating the packed object in vacuum furnace to a temperature whereby carbon from the pack diffuses into the object forming grains with tantalum carbide along the grain boundaries, and etching the surface of the carburized object. This latter step removes tantalum carbides from the surface of the carburized tantalum object while leaving the tantalum carbide along the grain boundaries.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to carburization of metals and more particularly to a packed bed process for the carburization of tantalum. This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to The Regents to the University of California. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.