Why is Duocel® aluminum foam so special?
Duocel® aluminum foam is a true metal skeletal structure. It is not a sintered, coated, or plated product. Its purity is typically that of the parent alloy metal, with no voids, inclusions, or entrapments.
The matrix of cells and ligaments is completely repeatable, regular, and uniform throughout the entirety of the material. Duocel® is a rigid, highly porous and permeable structure and has a controlled density of metal per unit volume.
Physical Characteristics of Duocel® Aluminum Foam* (8% Nominal Density 6101-T6)
|Compression Strength||367 psi||(2.53 MPa)|
|Tensile Strength*||180 psi||(1.24 MPa)|
|Shear Strength*||190 psi||(1.31 MPa)|
|Modulus of Elasticity (Compression)*||15 × 103 psi||(103.08 MPa)|
|Modulus of Elasticity (Tension)*||14.6 × 103 psi||(101.84 MPa)|
|Shear Modulus||2.9 × 104 psi||(199.95 MPa)|
|Vickers Pyramid Number||35 HV|
|Specific Heat||.214 BTU/lb-°F||(.895 J/g-C)|
|Bulk Thermal Conductivity||3.4 BTU/ft-hr-F||(5.8 W/m-C)|
|Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (0-100°C)||13.1 × 10-6 in/in--F||(23.58 × 10-6 m/m--C)|
|Bulk Resistivity||2.84 × 10-5 ohm - in||(7.2 × 10-5 ohm - cm)|
Aluminum has great thermal conductivity for its cost and weight. Because of the high surface area of Duocel® foam, heat transfer to/from fluids flowing through the foam is greatly accelerated over solid aluminum and aluminum fins.
Duocel® aluminum foam is also ideal for use with phase change materials (PCM) because of the large amount of surface area, which increases coupling to PCM.
Please visit our thermal conductivity page in the technical data section for a more in depth explanation of how materials and properties effects the thermal conductivity of Duocel® foam.
When a load is applied to a foam structure, it will initially yield elastically. However, at approximately 4-6% of strain, depending on the sample size, the foam structure will begin to buckle and collapse continuously at a relatively constant stress. Depending upon the initial relative density of the foam, this constant collapse will proceed to approximately 50-70% of strain. At that point, the stress / strain curve will begin to rise as the compressed foam enters the “densification” phase.
The point in the stress / strain curve where it transitions from the elastic to plastic deformation phase defines the “crush strength” of the foam. This is an important mechanical parameter as it is obviously essential to remain below that level for any structure that is being designed to maintain its shape under design load
Please visit our energy absorption page in the technical data section for a more in depth explanation of how materials and properties effects the crush strength of Duocel® foam.
Aluminum is a very good conductor of electricity. This allows Duocel® aluminum foam to act as a a grounding medium and as an electrode in electrical applications
Duocel® aluminum foam has also been used to block electromagnetic radiation. This is due to the enormous amount of surface area of the foam.
Please visit our electrical conductivity page in the technical data section for a more in depth explanation of how materials and properties effects the electrical conductivity of Duocel® foam.
We manufacture our foam from solid aluminum, which already has a low density. The resulting foam is extremely lightweight and is commonly used in weight sensitive aerospace applications. We have the capacity to reduce the foam to a relative density of 3% to 12%. Higher densities can be achieved through post foaming compression.
Duocel® aluminum foam also has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is a great material for lightweight structural applications.
For our Duocel® aluminum foam we are limited to continuous sizes that fit into either 5″ x 7″ x 18″ or 4″ x 14″ x 16″. For pieces any larger we are able to use multiple pieces and bond or braze them together.
Our products can range anywhere from $2.00 to $500.00+ per cubic inch of foam for a fully machined end item component. Our foams are generally only economically viable in projects where high performance is more critical than high cost.
ERG does not sell foam as a raw bulk material, only as finished end item components.
Duocel® aluminum foam can be anodized, chem filmed, and metal plated just as solid aluminum for increased corrosion resistance and/or higher thermal conductivity.
Aluminum naturally has a tough oxide layer that helps prevent corrosion. This layer is normally stable from 4.5 to 8.5 pH. Within that pH range, aluminum is very corrosion resistant.
Aluminum is susceptible to galvanic reaction.