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Short‐Range Ordered Aluminum Foams

Wang, Ningzhen; Noack, Mike Andreas; Kamm, Paul Hans; Banhart, John; García-Moreno, Francisco

Ordering the bubbles of closed-cell aluminum foams can contribute to decorative esthetics and create directional mechanical properties that disordered foams do not have. High-porosity (>80%) aluminum foams prepared by the traditional static gas injection method usually have large and polyhedral cells, which do not form an ordered stacking. Aluminum foams with relatively uniform and small cells (cell size ≈1.2 mm) have been recently obtained by gas injection through a nozzle rotating at high speed. Herein, the stacking of aluminum foams with different cell sizes and a monodisperse aqueous foam are characterized by X-ray tomography and compared with an ideal face-centered cubic (FCC) structure. The aluminum foam featuring the smallest cells has a concentrated distribution of cell coordination number with a peak of 12 and the first peaks of the radial distribution function are found to be consistent with those of the monodisperse aqueous foam and an ideal FCC structure. Furthermore, many aligned bubble chains with more than five bubbles are observed on cross-sectional images. Therefore, aluminum foam can become short-range ordered whenever the cell size is uniform enough and reduced to around 1.2 mm. Methods for further improving the order of aluminum foam are discussed.
Published in: Advanced Engineering Materials, 10.1002/adem.202100795, Wiley-VCH