New Composite Metal Foams under Compressive Cyclic Loadings


Article Preview

New composite metal foams are processed using powder metallurgy (PM) and gravity casting techniques. The foam is comprised of steel hollow spheres, with the interstitial spaces occupied by a solid metal matrix (Al or steel alloys). The cyclic compression loading of the products of both techniques has shown that the composite metal foams have high cyclic stability at very high maximum stress levels up to 68 MPa. Under cyclic loading, unlike other metal foams, the composite metal foams do not experience rapid strain accumulation within collapse bands and instead, a uniform distribution of deformation happen through the entire sample until the densification strain is reached. This is a result of more uniform cell structure in composite metal foams compared to other metal foams. As a result, the features controlling the fatigue life of the composite metal foams have been considered as sphere wall thickness and diameter, sphere and matrix materials, and processing techniques as well as bonding strength between the spheres and matrix.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 539-543)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

T. Chandra, K. Tsuzaki, M. Militzer , C. Ravindran




A. Rabiei et al., "New Composite Metal Foams under Compressive Cyclic Loadings", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 539-543, pp. 1868-1873, 2007

Online since:

March 2007




[1] Sugimura, Y., Rabiei, A., Evans, A. G., Harte, A. M., and Fleck, N. A., Compression fatigue of a cellular Al alloy, Materials Science and Engineering A, 269, 38-48, (1999).


[2] Harte, A. M., Fleck, N. A., and Ashby, M. F., Fatigue failure of an open cell and a closed cell aluminium alloy foam, Acta Materialia, 47, 2511-2524, (1999).


[3] Zettl, B., Mayer, H., Stanzl-Tschegg, S. E., and Degischer, H. P., Fatigue properties of aluminium foams at high numbers of cycles, Materials Science and Engineering A, 292, 1-7, (2000).


[4] Motz, C., Friedl, O., and Pippan, R., Fatigue crack propagation in cellular metals, International Journal of Fatigue, 27, 1571-1581, (2005).


[5] Rabiei, A., Evans, A. G., and Hutchinson, J. W., Heat Generation during the Fatigue of a Cellular Al Alloy, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 31A, 1129-1136, (2000).


[6] Lehmus, D, Marschner, C, and Banhart, J., Influence of heat treatment on compression fatigue of aluminum foams, Journal of Materials Science, 37, (2002).

[7] Banhart, J. and Brinkers, W, Fatigue Behavior of Aluminum Foams, Journal of Material Science Letters, 18, 617-619, (1999).

[8] Zhou, J. and Soboyejo, W. O., Compression-compression fatigue of open cell aluminum foams: macro/micro- mechanisms and the effects of heat treatment, Materials Science and Engineering A, 369, 23-35, (2004).


[9] Rabiei, A. and O'Neill, A. T., A study on processing of a composite metal foam via casting, Materials Science and Engineering: A, 404, 159-164, (2005).


[10] Rabiei, A., O'Neill, A. T., and Neville, B. P., Processing and Development of a New High Strength Metal Foam, MRS Fall 2004 Proceedings, 841, 517-526, (2005).

[11] Neville, B. P and Rabiei, A., Processing and Characterization of Composite Metal Foams through Powder Metallurgy, Materials Science and Engineering: A, in review.

[12] Bart-Smith, H., Bastawros, A. F., Mumm, D. R., Evans, A. G., Sypeck, D. J., and Wadley, H. N. G., Compressive deformation and yielding mechanisms in cellular Al alloys determined using X-ray tomography and surface strain mapping, Acta Materialia, 46, 3583-3592, (1998).


[13] Simone, A. E. and Gibson, L. J., Effects of solid distribution on the stiffness and strength of metallic foams, Acta Materialia, 46, 2139-2150, (1998).


[14] Sugimura, Y., Meyer, J., He, M. Y., Bart-Smith, H., Grenstedt, J., and Evans, A. G., On the mechanical performance of closed cell Al alloy foams, Acta Materialia, 45, 5245-5259, (1997).


[15] Rabiei, A., Vendra, L, Reese, N, and Neville, B. P, Processing and Characterization of a New Composite Metal Foam, 2005, in press.

[16] Rabiei, A., Neville, B. P, Reese, N, and Vendra, L, Mechanical Properties of New Composite Metal Foams under Compressive Monotonic and Fatigue Loadings, Materials Science and Technology, 2005, in press.