This article describes manufacturing procedures that produce aluminum foams and have since become industrially important and successful. It discusses the foaming of melts by blowing agents and foaming of melts by gas injection. The article focuses on aluminum foams based on the Foaminal technology, because those foams dominate the technical applications of aluminum foams. It also discusses the mechanical properties of metal foams, such as general compression behavior, elastic behavior, strain-rate sensitivity, tensile behavior, ductility, fatigue, and mechanical damping. The article concludes with information on the applications of highly porous metal structures.
Cellular or foam structures can be described by means of two broader cases: foams in which the pores are all connected to each other and with the environment (open-pore foams) and foams in which every single pore is completely enclosed by the matrix (closed-pore foams). This article describes the four process groups for the production of open- and closed-pore metal foams. It discusses the principles of the foaminal process with the description of various foaming agents, solidified metal foam, and geometries and derived structures of metal foams. The use of syntactic metal foam in various fields is included. The article reviews the mechanical properties of closed-pore metal foams, details the machining and joining procedures of the metal foams, and presents the applications of the metal foam.