Syntactic foam sandwich fills hunger for lightweight yet strong materials

Syntactic foam sandwich fills hunger for lightweight yet strong materials
A team of researchers has developed the first composite material that sandwiches a layer of lightweight metal matrix syntactic foam between two carbon fabric layers, offering extreme light weight, flexibility, and the ability to withstand deformation and absorb energy. The material, developed by NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Nikhil Gupta along with Deep Springs Technology and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, holds significant potential for automobiles, trains, ships, and other applications requiring lightweight structural components that retain their strength even when bent or compressed. Credit: NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

A team of researchers reports success in pioneering tests of a layered material with a lightweight metal matrix syntactic foam core that holds significant potential for automobiles, trains, ships, and other applications requiring lightweight structural components that retain their strength even when bent or compressed.

The research team of Nikhil Gupta, a NYU School of Engineering associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, working with the Toledo, Ohio, company Deep Springs Technology and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, published their findings in Materials Science and Engineering: A.

Conventional metal foams have gas-filled pores within the metal, which reduce weight but pose some drawbacks, such as difficulty in controlling the size and shape of the pores during manufacturing.

By contrast, metal matrix syntactic foams incorporate porosity in their foam-like structure by means of hollow particles. In recent years there has been an upsurge in the use of these materials, mainly because of their compressive strength. However, bending strength was a limitation for many potential applications, notably automotive structures.

Metallic foams previously have been sandwiched between two stiff sheets, which provide increased flexural strength while the foam core allows the material to withstand large deformation and absorb energy. But Gupta and his colleagues are the first to develop a metal matrix syntactic foam core sandwich composite.

Their study focused on an aluminum alloy filled with hollow alumina particles sandwiched with carbon fabric face-sheets. The researchers discovered that the resulting layered material reduced weight but also increased stiffness and offered high energy absorption. These qualities make the metal matrix syntactic foam sandwich attractive for automotive floor board panels and other applications in which bending properties are important.

Syntactic foam sandwich fills hunger for lightweight yet strong materials
A team of researchers has developed the first composite material that sandwiches a layer of lightweight metal matrix syntactic foam between two carbon fabric layers, offering extreme light weight, flexibility, and the ability to withstand deformation and absorb energy. The material, developed by NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Nikhil Gupta along with Deep Springs Technology and the US Army Research Laboratory, holds significant potential for automobiles, trains, ships, and other applications requiring lightweight structural components that retain their strength even when bent or compressed. Credit: NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

"This work could result in a new generation of ships and ground vehicles for both the military and civilian sectors," says Gupta. "Trains can also benefit from the lightweight and high energy absorbing panels made possible by the new sandwich composite."


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More information: The paper "Syntactic Foam Core Metal Matrix Sandwich Composite: Compressive Properties and Strain Rate Effects" reporting these findings is available at www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0921509315301854
Citation: Syntactic foam sandwich fills hunger for lightweight yet strong materials (2015, July 16) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-syntactic-foam-sandwich-hunger-lightweight.html
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Jul 17, 2015
Before using this we should look at how easy it is to recycle. The material properties are no doubt very nice, but metal carbon composites seem like a hard combination to separate.

Jul 17, 2015
Another generation or two and they will be up to the level of these existing parts:
http://www.zimmer...ogy.html

Jul 17, 2015
Before using this we should look at how easy it is to recycle. The material properties are no doubt very nice, but metal carbon composites seem like a hard combination to separate.
@Antialias
well you know that isn't going to happen...

i see a lot of possibilities in the aircraft industry here... they already use a lot of bonded materials similar to the above in various types of A/C flying already...

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