This invention relates generally to a novel directed metal oxidation process which is utilized to produce self-supporting bodies. In some of the more specific aspects of the invention, a parent metal (e.g., a parent metal vapor) is induced to react with at least one solid oxidant-containing material to result in the directed growth of a reaction product which is formed from a reaction between the parent metal and the solid oxidant-containing material. The inventive process can be utilized to form bodies having substantially homogeneous compositions, graded compositions, and macrocomposite bodies.
In a preferred embodiment, a substance comprising a filler material and a solid oxidant, preferably an admixture of particulates, is coated onto at least a portion of the solid oxidant-containing material. Such a technique is particularly advantageous for forming relatively thick reaction product layers which might not otherwise develop to the desired thickness using the original "directed growth" embodiment. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the solid oxidant and the solid oxidant-containing material have the same chemical composition, and the filler material and the reaction product have the same chemical composition.