"Black technology" in the field of materials? Explain the broad prospects of foam aluminum

"Black technology" in the field of materials? Explain the broad prospects of foam aluminum

[China Aluminum Industry Network] As an “potentially important metal” in the 21st century, metal aluminum has long been widely used. After years of development, aluminum has been able to be presented in many ways to meet people’s needs in multiple levels and fields. . Aluminum foam is the leader in aluminum metal derivatives.

Aluminum foam is a lightweight, porous metal material with an infinite number of bubbles on the basis of aluminum. It also has the characteristics of metal phase bubbles. It is a very promising physical functional material. Its manufacturing method is mainly to add additives in pure aluminum or aluminum alloy, and it is manufactured through foaming process. Due to the higher stiffness of metal than plastic, theoretically, aluminum foam of the same thickness can absorb more energy than foam made of polyvinyl chloride.

In 1948 American scientist A.Sonik obtained the world's patent on foamed aluminum, and succeeded in producing foamed aluminum by Elliot three years later. In the 1960s, the American company Etheel established a foam aluminum research and development center. In 1991, the Kyushu Industrial Metal Research Institute in Japan successfully developed the production process of industrial foam aluminum. The first World Foam Metal Society in 1999 was held in Bremen, Germany. It mainly focused on the manufacture and application of aluminum foam.

Up to now, foam aluminum and foam aluminum parts with multiple uses have been produced in the world and have been widely used in the industrial field. The future will also have broad prospects in the fields of construction, chemical industry, transportation, aerospace and other fields.

Of course, aluminum foam, as a new hot material, must have its own “keeping home” skills.

1. Lightweight and high rigidity. The density of foamed aluminum is approximately 0.1 and 0.4 times that of metallic aluminum, but its flexural height can reach 1.5 times that of steel.

2. Excellent resistance to shock and shock absorption. The damping properties of foamed aluminum can reach 5-10 times that of metallic aluminum. When a foamed aluminum with a porosity of 84% is deformed by 50%, energy of 2.5 MJ/M3C or more can be absorbed, and the energy absorbing effect is far superior to other shock absorbing materials.

3. Acoustic performance. In the closed-cell state, when the sound wave frequency is between 800-4000 Hz, the sound-insulating coefficient of foam aluminum can reach 0.9 or more. In the condition of micro-vias and through-holes, when the sound wave frequency is between 125-4000 Hz, the sound absorption coefficient of aluminum foam can reach 0.8, and the average absorption coefficient of octave exceeds 0.4.

4. Good thermal properties. The thermal conductivity of closed-cell aluminum foam with a porosity of 80% to 90% is 0.3-1W/(mk), which is equivalent to marble. Under the forced air convection condition, its thermal conductivity is very good.

5. Retained aluminum corrosion resistance, low moisture absorption, no aging, non-toxic.

6. Processing and installation are very convenient. Foam aluminum can be cut, drilled, cemented, and can be made into a variety of shapes through abrasives, and can be surface treated like ordinary aluminum. It can also be made into large-sized lightweight high-rigidity plates; The foamed aluminum material can be easily installed in high places without any mechanical lifting equipment, thus allowing adhesives to be directly applied to the ceiling and walls.

Foam aluminum manufacturing mainly has the following methods:

1. Liquid phase method. The foamed structure produced by liquid aluminum can be directly foamed in the aluminum liquid, and can also be obtained by casting with a polymer foam or a close-packed pore former.

2. Solid phase method. The use of aluminum powder instead of liquid aluminum also produces a porous material because most of the solid phase methods use sintering to bond the aluminum particles to each other and the aluminum remains in the solid state. Therefore, the aluminum foam produced by this method mostly has a through-hole structure.

3. Electrodeposition method. It is mainly made of foamed plastic and is made of electrodeposited aluminum after conductive treatment. The current technology can make foam plastic by dipping conductive glue, electroless plating and magnetron sputtering tin film. The foamed aluminum prepared by this method has a small pore size and uniform pores, and has a relatively high porosity, and its performance and damping properties are superior to those produced by the casting method.

Because foam aluminum combines a variety of excellent properties into one, foam aluminum has unparalleled advantages in areas that require the comprehensive use of such properties.

1. Transport. The use of lightweight materials for automobiles and motorcycles can significantly reduce the weight of the vehicle body and significantly improve fuel consumption. Aluminum foam can be used to make some lightweight but stiff structural parts, such as automobile baffles, trunk lids, etc. It can also act as a material for the anti-collision beam around the body, and can greatly reduce the collision part through excellent energy absorption capability. The deformation, a rough estimate of the automotive parts in the strength of the premise does not weaken, the quality can be reduced by more than 50%. With the increase in the cost of oil and the world’s resistance to greenhouse gases, aluminum foam will have advantages in the future when it comes to plastics made of petroleum.

2. Aerospace vehicles. In the current field of aerospace vehicles, honeycomb structure materials are widely used, but the honeycomb structure materials are relatively complicated due to the manufacturing process, which results in a relatively high cost. Foam aluminum sandwich panels are similar to honeycomb structural materials in that they have low density and high specific strength. However, aluminum foam has great advantages in terms of cost, and it is very likely to replace honeycomb structural materials in the future development.

3. Construction industry. While modern buildings pursue energy conservation and environmental protection, safety cannot be neglected. The foam aluminum plate is light in weight and good in stiffness. At the same time, due to the inherent advantages of metal, the flame retardant effect is very good. Therefore, it can be widely used in elevator interior trim panels and certain building components fields to reduce energy consumption.

4. Sound insulation and noise reduction materials for roads. Noise pollution caused by transport has always been a thorny issue in urban management. The appearance of aluminum foam can be said to have brought good news to managers. Foam aluminum can be used to make soundproof screens on the roads beside urban bridges, viaducts, and highways. The current use of glass and plastics is not ideal and the noise reduction effect is low. The noise reduction performance of foam aluminum is about twice that of these materials, and it has already taken the lead in some developed countries.

At present, the foam aluminum industry is booming at home and abroad, but it seems to encounter a bottleneck in the development process. At present, the production of foamed aluminum foaming agent is not only low in foaming efficiency, the effect is not ideal, and the price is relatively high, which seriously hampers the development of foam aluminum industry. Therefore, whether or not a foaming agent with excellent effect and reasonable cost can be made will determine the success or failure of the foamed aluminum material.

The world's major developed countries have successfully applied aluminum foam to the construction, transportation, machinery, electronics and other industries. As early as 2008, foreign foam aluminum production reached 2.173 million tons, and with the gradual development of the industry, the demand satisfaction rate is slowly declining, indicating that the current production has begun to slowly keep up with demand, so there is a The opportunity to enter the market.

Back to the domestic market. The demand for foam aluminum in China is mainly for transportation, military, industrial timber, construction and other industries. In recent years, China's high-speed rail and construction industries have developed rapidly. In a few years, the demand may soar to 500,000 tons, and a huge market of 25 billion yuan will be formed. This is a big one that anyone can't ignore. cake".

As a "black technology" in the current material field, foam aluminum will have unlimited future once it is developed.

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