Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High strength cellular aluminium foam for the automotive industry

11.06.2014

Aluminum foam is used for applications that requires high level of energy and sound absorption characteristics. UiTM researchers have developed an innovative process to make high strength cellular aluminium foam with help from some salt.

Aluminium foam exhibits unique properties when compared to its dense form, particularly its lightweight characteristics. Generally, the foam can be divided into two categories; closed cell and open cell, both have different characteristics and applications.

The features of the closed cell are, the pores structure is isolated and they are not connected to each other. This type of aluminium foam is suitable for application that requires high level of energy and sound absorption characteristics. It has been used widely in many structural parts, particularly in areas exposed to high damping capacity, for example in the automotive front bumper component.

Meanwhile, the open cell, owing to greater level of connectivity of the pores, the structure has been accepted and used in thermal management applications. One such promising application is as a heat exchanger, particularly as a cooling medium to transfer heat, due to the development of its porous structure, which provides greater surface area, thus, enabling improved heat transfer efficiency. Producing a combined structure of open and closed cell in one volume component appears to be a difficult process due to the different processing techniques involved and their individual limitations.

Therefore, in this study, an innovative processing route for high strength cellular aluminium foam (CAF) by integrating porous and dense structures is presented. The CAF is well known as a light-weight product exhibiting high level of inter-connected porosity which is very useful as a thermal management application, particularly as a heat transfer or cooling medium. However, the level of strength for the CAF is not really promising when it is subjected to high impact; thus, limit its potential application, particularly in the automotive industry.

Subsequently, an alternative route by integrating dense and porous structure has been investigated. The solid aluminium at the centre acts as a pillar providing excellent strength for the surrounding foam structure. The product has demonstrated functionally graded properties which is possible for applications that require both properties of heat transfer and high strength.

The product was fabricated using infiltration of NaCl space holder combined with central solid aluminium foam. It is well known that NaCl has a greater melting point than that of aluminium. Therefore, when aluminium melts, the liquid fills the interstitial spaces between the NaCl grain. Prior to melting, the NaCl is sieved according to the desired porous structure.

The materials (NaCl, central aluminium core and dense Aluminium ingot) are placed in the cylindrical steel mould and heated at temperature range between 670 and 700oC. The NaCl is placed at the bottom mould with aluminium central pillar and bulk Aluminium placed at the top of NaCl so that after the aluminium turns into liquid, it penetrates along the interstitial spaces between NaCl. Upon solidification, the part is removed from the mould and further machining is carried out to remove surface roughness caused by the solidification process. The part is then leached in an ultrasonic water bath in order to remove the NaCl completely.

The final product is the cellular aluminium foam exhibiting excellent interconnected pores structure with dense central pillar. The central solid pillar provides extra strength for the surrounded foam structure. The foams structure produced was examined for its density, porosity and strength by compression test. Thermal conductivity was also carried out to investigate the effect of space holder size and the NaCl fractions on the final properties.

MUHAMMAD HUSSAIN BIN ISMAIL
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
University Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
hussain305@salam.uitm.edu.my 

Funding information

University Teknologi MARA

Darmarajah Nadarajah | Research SEA News
Further information:
http://www.uitm.edu.my
http://www.researchsea.com

Further reports about: UiTM characteristics dense foam heat pores porous processing structure techniques

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>