Self-Blowing Process of Al Foam Assisted by Exothermic Reaction
Aluminum foam is a class of porous materials; in which closed pores are produced by a gas generation in liquid (or semi-liquid) aluminum. Aluminum foams are, generally, fabricated by heating a foamable precursor (a powder compact consisting of aluminum and TiH2 powders). Decomposition of TiH2, which is followed by a hydrogen gas release, produces bubbles in molten aluminum. In this research, aluminum foam was fabricated with the help of a chemical exothermic reaction. Titanium and boron carbide (B4C) powders were blended in the Al-TiH2 precursor as reactive powder elements. When one end of the precursor was heated, a strong exothermic reaction between titanium and B4C took place (3Ti + B4C 2TiB2 +TiC + 761KJ), and the neighboring part of the precursor was heated by the heat of reaction. Hence, once the reaction happens at the end of the precursor, it propagates spontaneously throughout the precursor. The blowing process takes place at the same time as the reaction because aluminum melts and TiH2 decomposes by the heat of reaction. The advantage of this process is that the energy to make aluminum foam is not necessarily supplied form the external source, but generated form inside of the precursor. Therefore the blowing process is self sustainable (Self-Blowing Process). In this work, the effect of processing parameters on the Self-Blowing Process was observed. The processing parameters we focused on were blending ratio of the starting powders (aluminum, TiH2, titanium, B4C) and heating methods.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
M. Kobashi, N. Kanetake, "Self-Blowing Process of Al Foam Assisted by Exothermic Reaction", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1335-1340, 2006