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Characterisation and Mechanical Testing of Open Cell Al Foams Manufactured by Molten Metal Infiltration of Porous Salt Bead Preforms: Effect of Bead Size

Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Publication Date
  • Porous Metals
  • Aluminium
  • Liquid Metal Infiltration
  • Mechanical Testing


Preforms made from porous salt beads with different diameters (0.5–1.0, 1.4–2.0 and 2.5–3.1 mm) have been infiltrated with molten Al to produce porous structures using pressure-assisted vacuum investment casting. Infiltration was incomplete for preforms with high densities. At higher infiltration pressures, penetration of molten Al occurred into beads of all sizes and was predicted using a simple model. The yield strength of the porous structures increased with increasing density and decreasing pore (bead) size. Despite the non-optimum distribution of metal in the porous structure, due to partial infiltration within the beads, the magnitude and density dependence of the yield stress were comparable with those for pure Al foams reported in similar studies. The structural efficiency was improved for structures produced at lower infiltration pressure, where the metal is predominantly distributed in the cell walls. The rate of salt dissolution from the preforms was high, in particular for high density preforms, large beads and preforms infiltrated at low pressures, owing to the ability of the porous beads to collapse as well as dissolve.

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