An apparatus that continuously processes a metal workpiece without substantially altering its cross section includes a wheel member having an endless circumferential groove, and a stationary constraint die that surrounds the wheel member, covers most of the length of the groove, and forms a passageway with the groove. The passageway has a rectangular shaped cross section. An abutment member projects from the die into the groove and blocks one end of the passageway. The wheel member rotates relative to the die in the direction toward the abutment member. An output channel in the die adjacent the abutment member has substantially the same cross section as the passageway. A metal workpiece is fed through an input channel into the passageway and carried in the groove by frictional drag in the direction towards the abutment member, and is extruded through the output channel without any substantial change in cross section.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.