, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1431-1440

Deformation characteristics of metal foams

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The deformation behaviour of a series of aluminium and zinc foams was investigated by uniaxial testing. Because the deformation behaviour of metal foams is expected to be anisotropic owing to the existence of a closed outer skin and with respect to the foaming direction, a series of measurements was carried out where the orientation of the outer skin and the foaming direction were varied. Stress–strain diagrams and corresponding compression strengths were determined for aluminium- and zinc-based foams. The influence of an age-hardening heat treatment was investigated. Finally, the axial deformation behaviour of aluminium tubes filled with aluminium foam was tested under uniaxial loading conditions. The results of the measurements are discussed in the context of possible applications of metal foams as energy absorbers. © 1998 Chapman & Hall