open celled metal foam

Open celled Aluminum foam has been a high quality product for more than 30 years now. Open celled metal foams combine the advantages of metal properties with the benefits of highly permeable lightweight materials. Thus, functional materials with a huge variety of applications result. Due to its higher costs it has been applied in elite markets such as aerospace and renewable energy products.

Currently Bekaert has cut in production costs, lowering the price and making the product affordable for a broader range of application fields.

Now design engineers, car manufacturers, chemical plant engineers, machine developers, and other innovative minds can profit from the extreme performances when integrating the aluminum foam, bringing their product to a complete new level.

Although the thermal properties are outstanding, the foam also exhibits a lot of other excellent properties:
- Thermal: cladding the outside of an oil cooling tube with a small layer of metal foam will increase the cooling performance by about 100%
- Visual: Combining the aesthetical effect with some of the other unique properties of the foam (heat transfer, anti-splashing) results in a functional design product with a perfect balance between performance and aesthetics, such as in radiators and lapshades
- Structural: the ultralight structure (the foam consists of 99 percent air) can help dampen vibrations, absorb energy, or provide structural strength when applied as a sandwich panel.
- Flow characteristics: the foam tends to diffuse & mix fluids very efficiently, or fungates as an anti-splashing wall for fast moving fluids.
- Fire propagation will slow down or completely be eliminated.
- Electrical: the foam can act as electrical conductor for eg LED lights integrated in the structure
- Sound absorption: the open cell structure dampens a traversing sound wave by resonance ffects in the cavities.

Currently the foam has been applied mainly in aerospace & military applications. Today, since Bekaert offers this foam at reasonable prices, the applications list will enlarge quickly.

Source: bekaert.comAdded: 1 December 2008