, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 651-660
Date: 26 Mar 2014

Aluminum integral foams with tailored density profile by adapted blowing agents

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Abstract

The goal of the present work is the variation of the structure of aluminum integral foams regarding the thickness of the integral solid skin as well as the density profile. A modified die casting process, namely integral foam molding, is used in which an aluminum melt and blowing agent particles (magnesium hydride MgH2) are injected in a permanent steel mold. The high solidification rates at the cooled walls of the mold lead to the formation of a solid skin. In the inner region, hydrogen is released by thermal decomposition of MgH2 particles. Thus, the pore formation takes place parallel to the continuing solidification of the melt. The thickness of the solid skin and the density profile of the core strongly depend on the interplay between solidification velocity and kinetics of hydrogen release. By varying the melt and blowing agent properties, the structure of integral foams can be systematically changed to meet the requirements of the desired field of application of the produced component.