The cellular materials developed by Fraunhofer IFAM are used in the following structure variants:
Closed cell aluminum foam structures
Complex, near-net shaped metal foam components with a closed pore cell structure (FOAMINAL® foams).
Three-dimensional sandwich structures with an aluminum or steel skin and aluminum foam core. A special feature of these materials is the material-fit, interface-free joint between the skin and the porous core.
Aluminum foam granulate (foam spheres)
In this variant, metal foam components are manufactured from many small-volume metal foam elements.
Open pore aluminum foam structures
Using a casting process, open pore plastic foams or globular spacers are infiltrated with molten metal. After cooling of the melt, the plastic is expelled and the result is an open pore component. The main applications for these materials are as metal filters and heat exchangers.
Syntactic metal foam structures
Syntactic metal foams are made via melt infiltration processes or powder-metallurgical injection molding. Precise spherical porosity in these materials is achieved using fine hollow spheres made of glass, ceramic material, or metal firmly embedded in the metal matrix. These structures have particularly high strength.
Hybrid foams are produced when two different foamed materials are combined into a composite material. For example, aluminum foam spheres can be embedded in a plastic foam matrix (particle-based hybrid foam). Interpenetrating hybrid foams are also possible, for example by injecting a plastic foam into an open pore aluminum foam.