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Closed Cell Metal Foam

Description

Aluminum metal foam is an isotropic and porous aluminium material with a cellular structure and extraordinary mechanical as well as physical properties at a very low density.

Metal foam panels:

  • are very stiff at a very low weight
  • are very effective in terms of acoustical absorption, electromagnetic shielding and structural damping
  • isolate and are fireproof
  • absorb impact energy regardless of impact direction (isotropic)
  • are much more stable than organical materials like wood or plastics
  • are decorative
  • are completely recycleable and hence do not cause any harm to our environment

Alulight® - sandwich constructed panels may be treated either on a single or on both sides. Depending on your needs you may want to have a panel with a better-looking surface. To achieve that additional aluminium plates are diffusion welded to the panel's surface.

Alulight® - Panels are easy to process with conventional techniques like sawing, drilling or turning - almost like wood. The only thing to keep in mind is that whilst treating the material the inner pore structures are revealed.

Alulight® - Panels can be made from umpteen cast and wrought alloys. The most important ones are:

pure aluminium
curing (modelling-)alloys from series 6000 and
cast alloys based on AlSi12.
The mechanical properties may be tailored to your needs through heat treatment.

Deflection:

Deflection of Alulight® - Panels and Sandwiches compared to standard Al-plates at the same weight (4-point inflection, different strains).

Aluminum Metal Foam Popular Manufacturing Techniques:

1) Several techniques are used to produce engineering (structural) aluminum foams. With the exception of syntactic foams and self-foamed materials such as foam glass, these materials are produced using a foamed polymer as the starting material.

2) From these economical precursors, three processing routes have been established for the production of ceramic and metallic foams. Ceramic foams can be produced by dipping the polymer foam in a slurry containing an appropriate binder and ceramic phases, followed by pressure less sintering at elevated temperatures.

3) A second process used to make metallic foams utilizes an electroless process for the deposition of a metal onto the polymer foam precursor via electrolytic deposition.

4) A third process begins with the pyrolysis of the thermosetting polymer foam to obtain a carbonaceous foam skeleton. These carbonaceous foam materials are themselves attractive for many aerospace and industrial applications, including thermal insulation, impact absorption, catalyst support, and metal and gas filtration. They are thermally stable, low in weight and density, and are chemically pure; they have low thermal expansion, resist thermal stress and shock, and are relatively inexpensive.

5) Closed-cell foam structures look very similar to a cellulose kitchen sponge; each cell is separated from another cell by thin walls of metal. Open-cell foam structures look very similar to a loofah sponge; the "holes" vary in size depending on the desired application.

Synonyms

aluminum foam metal, closed cell aluminum foam, Al, aluminum metal foam, porous aluminum metal, cellular aluminum solids, cellular aluminum metal, closed cell porosity, cellular aluminum metallic material, porous aluminum structures

Physical Properties

Panels may be attached with nails, bolts or using other (e.g. churned) attachement elements. It is also possible to use soldering techniques which work under the specified melting temperature of the base alloy.

Alulight® - Panels with or without aluminium cover sheet can be supplied in

  • dimensions up to 625 x 625 mm and
  • thicknesses from 8 to 25 mm (+/- 0.3 mm)

Typical Applications

Energy absorption, filtration, sound suppression, magnetic shielding, vibration damping, stiff lightweight panels, thermal insulation barriers, medical implants, storage media, fuel cells, and heat exchangers

Packaging

Typically to customer's specifications 

Specifications

  • density kg/m3 500 750 1000
    elastic modulus GPa 5 9 14
    min. plastic collapse stress MPa 3 13 25
    min. bending strength MPa 7 15 20
    bending stiffness (with respect to the Al-sheet of same weight) % 210 170 150
    thermal conductivity at 20°C W/m.K 6-
    15
    15-
    35
    25-
    50
    electric conductivity 106 S/m 3 5 9
    energy absorption capacity
    (at 20 MPa compressive stress)
    MJ/m3 4.5 4.3 0.5
    loss factor - 0.003 0.004 0.004

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