Aluminum foam

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Aluminum foams
sold by McMaster-Carr
Formed aluminum foam from Wikipedia link


Lightweight metallic sheets usually formed air or gas injected into the molten aluminum. Aluminum foams are very strong, nonflammable and eco-friendly. They have excellent impact absorption and are used for collision protection in transport systems; however, unlike polymer foams, when an impact happens, they remain deformed and can only be used once.

Foamed metals are available both in closed cell and open cell forms.

  • Open-celled metal foams are usually replicas produced using open-celled polyurethane foams as a skeleton
  • Closed-cell metal foams have been developed since the 1950s, but although prototypes were available, commercial production was started only in the 1990s. They made by injecting a gas into molten metal forming pores, or cells, about 1 to 8 mm in size.

Synonyms and Related Terms

foamed aluminum; metal sponge

Commercial products: Duocel


  • Sound and impact insulation
  • Architectural facades
  • Lightweight case construction
  • Heat exchangers

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Lightweight with high strength to weight ratio
  • Density (relative to solid As) = 4-12% is most common
  • Compression strength = 367 psi (at 8% relative density)
  • Tensile strength = 180 psi (at 8% relative density)
  • Melting point = 1220f (660C)

Working Properties

  • Carbide- or diamond-tipped blades are required for machining
  • Joined by brazing, adhesive bonding, mechanical fasteners, or soldering

Forms and Sizes

  • Thicknesses from 1/2" to 2"
  • Sheets available 6'x6' or 12'x12' (McMaster-Carr)

Resources and Citations

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