Sand casting is a method used to make ordered-cell metal foams. Aluminum ordered-cell foam is lightweight, moves heat, and absorbs impact. Binder-jet 3D-printed sand castings could create a hybrid method to manufacture metal foam.
Excerpt from the April 2013 Machine Design article by Lindsey Frick.
Metal foams, also called cellular materials, are metallic bodies with interspersed voids called cells. They have a reputation for high strength, low density, and absorbing impact. This combination works well for military vehicles where lighter parts can save money and the degree of impact cushioning can be the difference between life or death.
Traditionally made metal foam is stochastic, meaning the foam has irregular cells that are spaced unevenly. If the cell structure in metal foam is arranged and regular it is called ordered-cell foam. Stochastic materials reduce weight as do ordered-cell metal foams. However, ordered-cell foam has superior strength, stiffness, energy absorption, and it moves heat.
Goodfellow’s aluminum foam is made by sand casting. The foam has regular, evenly spaced, 10-mm open pore cells.Read More