Processing and Pore Growth Mechanisms in Aluminum Gasarites Produced by Thermal Decomposition
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Gasarites are a subclass of metallic foams that have a cylindrical pore morphology created by directional solidification of metals saturated with a gas. Thermal decomposition is an alternative process in which the soluble gas is delivered by decomposition of a particulate gas source. Aluminum gasarites formed through decomposition of titanium and zirconium hydrides were studied to both replicate the results of a previous study and discern pore-formation mechanisms. Replication of the previous study was not achieved, and additional processing enhancements were required to produce gasarite pore morphologies. For the first time, zirconium hydride was utilized to produce gasarites, with porosity levels and pore sizes lower than that from titanium hydride. Maximum average porosity levels of 10 and 6 pct were observed for titanium hydride and zirconium hydride, respectively. Pore-formation mechanisms in aluminum gasarite foams created via thermal decomposition of titanium and zirconium hydrides were evaluated through metallographic analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Definitive evidence of gas–metal eutectic pore growth was not found, but pore morphological characteristics and chemical analysis of particulate at pore surfaces support direct gas evolution from the hydride particles as a contributor to pore formation and growth.
KeywordsHydride Solidification Front Molten Aluminum Pore Morphology Porosity Level
The authors thank Professor David Dunand from the Northwestern University for supplying the zirconium hydride used in the current study, and Dr. Vladimir Shapovalov for his invaluable advice on Gasar processing.
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