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High Performance Composite Metal Foam

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Office of Technology Transfer
920 Main Campus Drive
Suite 400
Campus Box 8210
NCSU
Raleigh, NC 27695-8210
919-515-7199
Terry Bray
terry_bray@ncsu.edu

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High Performance Composite Metal Foam

Researchers at NCSU are joining forces with innovative companies to introduce new and enhanced products to the marketplace. Research and the commercialization of emerging technologies are key synergies of NCSU's mission. In support of that mission, the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) promotes collaboration with industry partners to move university discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. We are pleased to promote and foster beneficial relationships between academia and industry. NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to license a series of new methods for creating high-strength, ultra-light composite metallic foams that show 5 to 6 times greater strength to density ratio and over 7 times higher energy absorption than that of currently available metallic foams.

Researchers at NC State have developed, processed, and tested a new high-strength ultra-light material that combines the advantages of metal matrix composites with metallic foams. Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei has produced a new generation of metal foams showing 5 to 6 times greater strength to density ratio and over 7 times higher energy absorption than that of currently available metallic foams. As a result, the energy absorption of these materials is estimated to be over 80 times greater than the bulk material from which the foam is made. Dr. Rabiei was interested in maintaining the advantages of metallic foams (excellent rigidity/ weight ratio, durability, isotropic absorption of energy at low and constant stress) while improving the mechanical properties under cyclic compression loading. The performance advantages of this metal foam are based on improving foam cell structure and reinforcing the cells with a metallic matrix. The resulting novel, closed-cell, metallic foam composite is made from preform hollow metallic spheres and exhibits a strength of over 130 MPa in compression. The densification for the new foam occurs at strains of approximately 50-65%.

Summary
- Improved strength (over 5 to 6 times higher strength to density ratio than that of currently
available foams)
- Greater energy absorption (at 50% strain over 65 MJ/m3, which is at least 7 times greater than
that of other foams made from the same materials through different techniques)
- Greater uniformity of cell structure, leading to controlled, predictable product deformation under loading
- Potential for further strengthening the foam through adding reinforcements into the matrix
- Higher capability for manufacturing through machining, welding, and joining without the need for adding sandwich panels.
- Vehicle crumple zones/collision absorbers
- Lightweight aerospace vehicle structures
- Fire retardant structures
- Boat hulls
- Military vehicle/structure armor
- Oil-well drilling platforms
- Sound absorptive material
- Volumetric thermal or electric conductive material applications
- Electromagnetic shielding material
- Implantable biomedical devices
- Structural shock absorbers to protect against earthquake vibration

Inventor Biography
Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei serves as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and as anAssociate Faculty Member of Biomedical Engineering at NC State since Aug. 2000. Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei received her Ph.D. in advanced materials at Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, Japan in 1997 within the area of mechanics and nondestructive evaluation of metal matrix composites. Her prior working experience includes over 8 years of industrial experiences in materials science and processing including casting, welding and nondestructive testing. She received her B.S. from the Department of Metallurgy and Material Science at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran in 1986. She worked at Harvard University as a post doctoral researcher from 1997 until 2000.

Publications
Rabiei A, Vendra L, Reese N, et al.
Processing and characterization of a new composite metal foam http://apps.isiknowledge.com/WoS/CIW.cgi?SID=1CeADGoK8IcMM9LLoLc&Func=
Abstract&doc=3/6

MATERIALS TRANSACTIONS 47 (9): 2148-2153 SEP 2006

Vendra LJ, Rabiei A
A study on aluminum-steel composite metal foam processed by casting http://apps.isiknowledge.com/WoS/CIW.cgi?SID=1CeADGoK8IcMM9LLoLc&Func=
Abstract&doc=3/1

MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING 465 (1-2): 59-67 SEP 15 2007

Rabiei A, O'Neill AT
A study on processing of a composite metal foam via casting http://apps.isiknowledge.com/WoS/CIW.cgi?SID=1CeADGoK8IcMM9LLoLc&Func=
Abstract&doc=3/12

MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING 404 (1-2): 159-164 SEP 15 2005

Dr. Rabiei's patent:
http://www.freshpatents.com/Composite-metal-foam-and-methods-of-preparation-thereof-
dt20060629ptan20060140813.php

Technical Insights division of Frost & Sullivan (www.ti.frost.com) has an article in their High Tech Materials Alert on Dr. Rabiei's new material published in their October 2006 issue.

Afsaneh Rabiei, Brian Neville, Nick Reese and Lakshmi Vendra, "New Composite Metal Foams Under Compressive Cyclic Loadings" journal Materials Science Forum Vols. 539-543, March 2007, pp. 1868-1873

A. Rabiei, L. Vendra, N. Reese, N. Young, B.P. Neville "processing and characterization of a new composite metal foam" Materials Transaction,

Japan Institute of Metals 47-49, Sep. 2006,

BP Neville, A. Rabiei, "Composite Metal Foams processed through Powder Metallurgy", Materials and Design, in press http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2007.01.026

A. Rabiei, B. P. Neville, N. Reese and L. Vendra  "Mechanical Properties of New Composite Metal Foams Under Compressive Monotonic and Fatigue Loadings", Materials Science and Technology 2005

A. Rabiei, L. Vendra, N. Reese, N. Young, B.P. Neville
"processing and characterization of a new composite metal foam", fourth International conference on porous metals and metal foaming technology, Japan, MetFoam, 2005, pp 369- 374

A. Rabiei, Processing and Development a New Ultra-Light High-Strength Material, NSF-DMII awardee conference, St. Louis, Missouri, 2006

A. Rabiei, Processing and Development a New Ultra-Light High-Strength Material, NSF-DMII awardee conference, Tampe Arizona, 2005 5. A. Rabiei, Processing and Development a New Ultra-Light High- Strength Material, NSF-DMII awardee conference, Tampe Arizona, 2007

A. Rabiei, A .O'Neil and B. Neville, "Processing and Development of a New High Strength Metal Foam", MRS fall meeting 2004,  NN.11.4, vol 851, pp517-526

A. Rabiei, L. Vendra, "Elastic and Plastic Behavior of Composite Metal Foams under Compressive Loading", Metfoam 2007 in press Afsaneh


   

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