Copper Foam

What is Copper Foam?

Copper foam is a true metal skeletal structure with a rigid, highly porous and permeable structure and has a controlled density of foam per unit volume. The matrix of cells and ligaments is completely repeatable, regular, and uniform throughout the entirety of the material. It is not a sintered, coated, or plated product. Its purity is typically that of the parent alloy copper, with no voids, inclusions, or entrapments. Copper foam works very well for heat transfer applications.

Thermal Conductivity

Copper foam 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 fins.

Duocel® 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.

Crush Strength

When a load is applied to a copper 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.

Electrical Conductivity

Copper is a very good conductor.  This allows the foam to act as a a grounding medium or as an electrode in electrical applications

Duocel® copper 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.

Density

We manufacture our foam from solid copper, 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® also has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is a great material for lightweight structural applications.

Density can be customized to obtain ideal pressure drop while high surface area to volume ratio and increased tortuosity make copper foam the ideal medium for products such as aircraft air oil separators.

Sizes

For our Duocel® copper 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. Please contact us to discuss availability and custom sizing.

Coatings

Duocel® foam can be anodized, chem filmed, and metal plated just as solid copper for increased corrosion resistance and/or higher thermal conductivity.

Corrosion Resistance of Copper Foam

Copper 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, copper is very corrosion resistant.

Several metal foams are susceptible to galvanic reaction.

Magnetizing Copper Foam

Though none of our normally foamed materials are magnetic, they can be nickel plated for magnetism.

Characteristics

  • Low Density
  • High Strength to Weight Ratio
  • High Surface area to Volume Ratio
  • isotropic load response
  • controlled stress-strain Characteristics
  • Can be Heat Treated
  • Brazable
  • Can be coated and plated
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