METAL AND CERAMIC FOAMS INFORMATION CENTER
A metallic foam or ceramic foam is a cellular structure consisting of a solid metal or ceramic material containing a large volume fraction of gas-filled pores. The pores can be sealed (closed-cell foam) or can form an interconnected network (open-cell foam). The defining characteristic of these foams is a very high porosity, with typically 75-95% of the volume consisting of void spaces. The strength of foamed material possesses a power law relationship to its density: for example, a 20% dense material is more than twice as strong as a 10% dense material. Metallic foams typically retain some physical properties of their base material. Foam made from non-flammable metal will remain non-flammable and the foam is generally recyclable back to its base material. The coefficient of thermal expansion also typically remains similar, while thermal conductivity is likely to be reduced.
Types of Foams
Open-Cell Metal Foams. Open celled metal foams are usually replicas using open-celled polyurethane foams as a skeleton. These foams have found a wide variety of applications in heat exchangers, energy absorption, flow diffusion and lightweight optics. Extremely fine-scale open-cell foams are used as high-temperature filters in the chemical industry. Metallic foams used in compact heat exchangers increase the heat transfer at the cost of an additional pressure drop. However, their use permits the physical size of a heat exchanger to be reduced substantially, and therefore also the fabrication costs.
Closed-Cell Metal Foams. Closed-cell metal foams have been developed since the 1950s, but although prototypes were available, commercial production was started only in the 1990s. Close-celled metal foams are commonly made by injecting a gas or mixing a foaming agent into molten metal. The material is then stabilized using a high temperature foaming agent (usually nano- or micrometer sized solid particles). The size of the pores, or cells, is usually 1 to 8 mm. Closed-cell metal foams are primarily used as an impact-absorbing material. Unlike many polymer foams, metal foams remain deformed after impact and can therefore only be used once. They are light, typically 10-25% of the density of the metal they are made of, which is usually aluminum, and stiff. Closed-cell foams retain the fire resistant and recycling capability of other metallic foams but add an ability to float in water.
Ceramic Foams. Ceramic foam is usually manufactured by impregnating open-cell polymer foams internally with ceramic slurry and then firing in a kiln, leaving only ceramic material. The foams may consist of several ceramic materials such as aluminum oxide. The foam is often used for thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, adsorption of environmental pollutants, filtration of molten metal alloys, and as substrate for catalysts requiring large internal surface area. It has also been used as stiff lightweight structural material, specifically for support of reflecting telescope mirrors.
American Elements maintains industrial scale production for all its foam products. and will execute Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreements to protect customer know-how.
AE Foams™ products include:
Recent Research & Development for Metal and Ceramic Foams
- Zhenyuan Gao, Wangcheng Zhan, Yunsong Wang, Yun Guo, Li Wang, Yanglong Guo, Guanzhong Lu, Aldehyde-functionalized mesostructured cellular foams prepared by copolymerization method for immobilization of penicillin G acylase, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 202, 15 January 2015
- Kihun Jang, Seongil Yu, Sung-Hyeon Park, Hak-Sung Kim, Heejoon Ahn, Intense pulsed light-assisted facile and agile fabrication of cobalt oxide/nickel cobaltite nanoflakes on nickel-foam for high performance supercapacitor applications, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 618, 5 January 2015
- A.T. Kulesa, M.J. Robinson, Analytical study of structural thermal insulating syntactic foams, Composite Structures, Volume 119, January 2015
- Junsuk Kang, Composite and non-composite behaviors of foam-insulated concrete sandwich panels, Composites Part B: Engineering, Volume 68, January 2015
- Van Hoa Nguyen, Jae-Jin Shim, Three-dimensional nickel foam/graphene/NiCo2O4 as high-performance electrodes for supercapacitors, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 273, 1 January 2015
- Abdulhakeem Bello, Farshad Barzegar, Damilola Momodu, Julien Dangbegnon, Fatemeh Taghizadeh, Mopeli Fabiane, Ncholu Manyala, Asymmetric supercapacitor based on nanostructured graphene foam/polyvinyl alcohol/formaldehyde and activated carbon electrodes, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 273, 1 January 2015
- Ye Li, Xudong Cheng, Lunlun Gong, Junjie Feng, Wei Cao, Ruifang Zhang, Heping Zhang, Fabrication and characterization of anorthite foam ceramics having low thermal conductivity, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2015
- Xun-Hui Xiong, Zhi-Xing Wang, Hua-Jun Guo, Xin-Hai Li, Facile synthesis of ultrathin nickel hydroxides nanoflakes on nickel foam for high-performance supercapacitors, Materials Letters, Volume 138, 1 January 2015
- Zhengbin Xu, Hai Hao, Electromagnetic interference shielding effectiveness of aluminum foams with different porosity, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 617, 25 December 2014
- Boguslaw Pierozynski, Tomasz Mikolajczyk, Ireneusz M. Kowalski, Hydrogen evolution at catalytically-modified nickel foam in alkaline solution, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 271, 20 December 2014