12 Potential applications for metal foams



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Application Comment

Sandwich cores Strain isolation

Mechanical damping

Vibration control

Acoustic absorption

Energy management: compact or light energy absorbers

Packaging with high-temperature capability

Artificial wood (furniture, wall panels)

Thermal management: heat exchangers/ refrigerators

Thermal management: flame arresters

Thermal management: heat shields

Consumable cores for castings

Metal foams have low density with good shear and fracture strength - see Chapters 7 and 10

Metal foams can take up strain mismatch by crushing at controled pressure - see Chapters 7 and 11

The damping capacity of metal foams is larger than that of solid metals by up to a factor of 10 - see Chapter 4

Foamed panels have higher natural flexural vibration frequencies than solid sheet of the same mass per unit area - see Chapter 4

Reticulated metal foams have sound-absorbing capacity - see Chapter 12

Metal foams have exceptional ability to absorb energy at almost constant pressure - see Chapter 11

Ability to absorb impact at constant load, coupled with thermal stability above room temperature - see Chapter 11

Metal foams have some wood-like characteristics: light, stiff, and ability to be joined with wood screws - see Chapter 14

Open-cell foams have large accessible surface area and high cell-wall conduction giving exceptional heat transfer ability - see Chapter 13

High thermal conductivity of cell edges together with high surface area quenches combustion - see Chapter 13

Metfoams are non-flammable; oxidation of cell faces of closed-cell aluminum foams appears to impart exceptional resistance to direct flame

Metfoams, injection-molded to complex shapes, are used as consumable cores for aluminum castings



Biocompatible inserts


Electrical screening

Electrodes, and catalyst carriers


The cellular texture of biocompatible metal foams such as titanium stimulate cell growth

Open-cell foams with controled pore size have potential for high-temperature gas and fluid filtration

Good electrical conduction, mechanical strength and low density make metfoams attractive for screening

High surface/volume ratio allows compact electrodes with high reaction surface area - see Chapter 17

Low density and good corrosion resistance suggests possible floatation applications

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