Aluminum foams are now being introduced into automotive industry to reduce weight, to absorb energy in crash situations and to carry sound or heat absorbing functions. In the present study, a novel Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process for producing porous aluminums with controlled pore size and porosity and superior energy absorption has been developed. Experimental procedures included the mixing of starting powders, compacting, SPS sintering and leaching out of the space-holding particles. Porous aluminums with various porosities and a wide range of pore size distributions can be produced by the SPS process. Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantitative image analyses were used to characterize the porous aluminums. Compressive tests were carried out on the aluminum foams to evaluate the mechanical properties.
Materials Science Forum: proceedings of the International Conference on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (THERMEC 2003), Madrid, Spain, 07-11 July 2003 / T. Candra, Jose Maria Torralba and T. Sakai (eds.),
Vol. 426-432, pp. 417-422