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Production Methods for Metallic Foams

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

J. Banhart
Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Materials Research (IFAM), Lesumer Heerstraße 36, 28717 Bremen, Germany,
J. Baumeister
Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Materials Research (IFAM), Lesumer Heerstraße 36, 28717 Bremen, Germany,
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The possibilities for making metallic foams or similar porous metal structures are reviewed. The various processes are classified according to the state of the starting metal - liquid, powdered, ionised. Liquid metal can be foamed directly by injecting gas, gas-releasing foaming agents or by producing supersaturated metal-gas solutions. Indirect methods include investment casting and usage of filler materials. Metal powders can also be used as starting materials for metallic foams: mixtures of such powders with foaming agents are compacted to foamable precursor materials that can be foamed in a second step. Instead of foaming agents inert gas can be directly entrapped in the precursor. Metal foams can also be made from metal powder slurries or by using polymer/powder mixtures. Finally, galvanic electro-deposition also allows to make highly porous metallic structures with open pores.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1998

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