The Formability of Aluminum Foam Sandwiches: Experimental and FEM Analysis


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This work deals with the formability of metal foams and it is focused on three point bending of aluminum foam sandwich panels. In this study bending can be considered as both a process for shaping of foamed panels and a mean for metal foam testing. Several tests were carried out by varying bending conditions and collecting load-displacement data. Specimens showed an interesting behaviour during bending since the sample deformation was related to the occurrence of foam cells failure or collapse. Moreover, once the process is terminated specimens retained a significant bending strength. During the experimental campaign several samples showed irregular fracture behaviour. In these cases cells fracture often starts in a generic part of the specimen (in correspondence of some non-eligible material defects) and propagates through the foam. The reasons of this problem and the possibility of failure prediction were investigated using different approaches. In particular, thickness measurements (using a ultrasound feeler) and X-ray analysis were carried out for this purpose. In addition, a study based on foam density showed a remarkable data scatter that can be considered as a characteristic of the state of the art in foamed panels manufacturing (in terms of process control and product variability). Finally, load-stroke curves were taken into account for this purpose. Computer simulations of the experiments were performed using the commercial FEM code (Deform 2D). Foam compressibility was simulated using a porous material model and the onset of foam instability was simulated by means of a specific damage criterion. Good agreement between simulative and experimental results was found.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 410-411)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, J. Duflou, M. Merklein, F. Micari and J. Griffiths






G. D’Urso et al., "The Formability of Aluminum Foam Sandwiches: Experimental and FEM Analysis", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 410-411, pp. 473-480, 2009

Online since:

March 2009




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