Ultra-Lightweight Aluminum Foam Materials for Automotive Applications 2000-01-0335
Ultra-lightweight metal foams are an emerging class of new engineering materials that can be tailored to have a very attractive combination of properties. Aluminum foams produced by Fraunhofer's powder metallurgy process show significant promise as multi-functional materials for a broad range of transportation applications. Their light weight and very high specific stiffness offer significant potential for vehicle weight reduction. The high energy absorption capabilities of aluminum foams can provide improved crash energy management. The range of materials properties that can be achieved using aluminum foams in various configurations and in combination with other structural materials are discussed. Current and potential future applications of aluminum foams in autos, trucks, and military vehicles for weight reduction, increased fuel efficiency, and improved mobility are also described.