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
- Panpan Xu, Ke Ye, Dianxue Cao, Jichun Huang, Tong Liu, Kui Cheng, Jinling Yin, Guiling Wang, Facile synthesis of cobalt manganese oxides nanowires on nickel foam with superior electrochemical performance, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 268, 5 December 2014
- Xuefei Gong, J.P. Cheng, Fu Liu, Li Zhang, Xiaobin Zhang, Nickel–Cobalt hydroxide microspheres electrodepositioned on nickel cobaltite nanowires grown on Ni foam for high-performance pseudocapacitors, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 267, 1 December 2014
- L.E.G. Cambronero, I. Cañadas, J.M. Ruiz-Román, M. Cisneros, F.A. Corpas Iglesias, Weld structure of joined aluminium foams with concentrated solar energy, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, Volume 214, Issue 11, November 2014
- Zuwei Yin, Fuyi Chen, A facile electrochemical fabrication of hierarchically structured nickel–copper composite electrodes on nickel foam for hydrogen evolution reaction, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 265, 1 November 2014
- D.P. Mondal, Mahesh Patel, S. Das, A.K. Jha, Hemant Jain, G. Gupta, S.B. Arya, Titanium foam with coarser cell size and wide range of porosity using different types of evaporative space holders through powder metallurgy route, Materials & Design, Volume 63, November 2014
- A. Martinez de Yuso, M.C. Lagel, A. Pizzi, V. Fierro, A. Celzard, Structure and properties of rigid foams derived from quebracho tannin, Materials & Design, Volume 63, November 2014
- M. Taherishargh, I.V. Belova, G.E. Murch, T. Fiedler, On the mechanical properties of heat-treated expanded perlite–aluminium syntactic foam, Materials & Design, Volume 63, November 2014
- C.A. Biffi, D. Colombo, A. Tuissi, Laser beam welding of CuZn open-cell foams, Optics and Lasers in Engineering, Volume 62, November 2014
- Anchalee Manonukul, Makiko Tange, Pathompoom Srikudvien, Nipon Denmud, Paiboon Wattanapornphan, Rheological properties of commercially pure titanium slurry for metallic foam production using replica impregnation method, Powder Technology, Volume 266, November 2014
- L. Peroni, M. Scapin, C. Fichera, D. Lehmhus, J. Weise, J. Baumeister, M. Avalle, Investigation of the mechanical behaviour of AISI 316L stainless steel syntactic foams at different strain-rates, Composites Part B: Engineering, Volume 66, October 2014