Heim, K.; Vinod-Kumar, G.S.; Garcia-Moreno, F.; Banhart, J.: Stability of various particle-stabilised aluminium alloys foams made by gas injection. Journal of Materials Science 52 (2017), p. 6401-6414
Open Accesn Version
Aluminium alloy foams are created by injecting air into liquid alloys containing non-metallic particles. In addition to an alloy containing the usual SiC particles, other types of metal/particle composites are studied, which are created by in situ reactions in the melts: two fluoride salts react and form TiB2 particles, and Ca addition or addition of CuO and SiO2 gives rise to the formation of various oxides and spinel particles. Injecting air into the molten composites through two different steel cannulas leads to the formation of first bubbles and then foam. The entire process is monitored in situ by X-ray radioscopy. The goal is not only to understand how and what kind of particles stabilise gas injected foams better, but also to reduce the fraction of added particles, which could improve mechanical properties, solve recycling issues and reduce production costs. All the observed composites are shown to have the potential to be processed to metallic foam. Melts containing TiB2 particles are found to perform as well as those containing SiC even at lower volume fractions. Oxidation of alloy melts promoted by Ca addition gives rise to melts that exhibit good foamability. Melts oxidised by CuO and SiO2 addition show partial stability. Mg is found to be a required alloying element to create stable foams. Smaller bubbles can be produced using smaller injector needle openings. By reducing bubble size and using new variants of in situ generated particles, more stable foams can be achieved with a lower number density of stabilising particles.