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Aluminum Foams: On the Road to Real Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

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Abstract

Metallic foams have become an attractive research field both from a scientific viewpoint and the prospect of industrial applications. Various methods for making such foams are available. Some techniques start from specially prepared molten metals with adjusted viscosities. Such melts can be foamed by injecting gases or by adding gas-releasing blowing agents that decompose in situ, causing the formation of bubbles. Another method is to prepare supersaturated metal–gas systems under high pressure and initiate bubble formation by pressure and temperature control. Yet a further class of techniques begins with solid precursors containing a blowing agent. These can be prepared by mixing metal powders with a blowing agent, compacting the mix, and then foaming the compacted mix by melting. Alternatively, casting routes can be used to make such precursors. The unique properties of foams offer promise in a variety of applications ranging from lightweight construction and impact-energy absorption to various types of acoustic damping and thermal insulation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2003

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