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Metal Foam

Materials Presentation [Assignment]

Jemboy Coronel

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Metal Foam

Metal foam is most frequently made of aluminum (which is derived from bauxite) due to its favorable properties:
Light weight
Corrosion resistance
Recyclable (Thermal process through smelter)
Metal foam can also be made of copper and nickel for different usage.

Metal Ores usually are mined through open cut mines. Countries leading in Bauxite production/mining are Australia, Asia, South/Central America and Russia. Aluminum and copper is then extracted from their ores at a reduction plant through the process of electrolysis (chemical process).

Metal Foam has an indirect environmental impact through the extracting of the ores (bauxite), and the greenhouse gas emissions through smelting. Greenhouse gases are the result of electrical consumption used by smelters. Perflurocarbons (PFC) is most potent from the process of smelting . Metal
Foam by Jeremy Coronel What is Metal Foam? Metal Foam is a cellular structured metal, usually aluminum, filled with a large volume of gas-filled pores. Metal foam comes in two structures : Closed cell foam (sealed pores) and Open cell foam (open pores which give the foam a network like structure) Extracting The life-cycle of Metal Foam Electrolysis Smelting Industrial Standard Stock How is the material sold? Metal foam is sold in sheets, usually sold using PPI(Pores Per Inches).

Open Pored metal foam = offers thermal management, steam generation, mixing, energy absorption
Closed Pored metal foam = mainly for energy absorption What is the price per unit? Prices may vary depending on the material (Aluminum, Copper, Nickel) and PPI (pores per inches)
The more pores per inches, the more expensive the foam Aluminum foam ~$13 @ 10 PPI
Copper foam ~$23 @ 10 PPI Processing There are four ways metal foam is processed:

Gas Injection - A MMC (Mixed-matrix composite)of Aluminium and silicon carbide or aluminium/magnesium oxide to add viscosity to the melt. Gas (air, nitrogen or argon) is then injected using vibrating nozzles. The bubbles and molten metal rise up to the surface of the mixture and solidify creating the metal foam.
Blowing Agents - This process uses blowing agents to create pores in the metal. Heat causes the blowing agents to release gas within the melt, creating air pockets/pores as the metal solidifies.
Powder compacts- Does not restrict to aluminum foam. A mixture of metal powders and blowing agents are heated just before melting point of the metal mixture. This allows the blowing agents to decompose and release gas, forcing the metallic mix to expand and produce a metal foam.
Foaming of ingots containing blowing agents- Titanium-hydride (a foaming agent) is directly mixed with the aluminum melt instead of using blowing agents and mixed metal powders to prepare the foam. The metal must be cooled immediately to prevent gas from escaping the pores.

The smelting process of these metals consumes a large amount of electricity. Perflurocarbons (PFC) is released during the smelting process, which is a greenhouse gas that depletes the ozone layer.
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