Ultra light and strong metal foam uses less energy

October 29 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Technology   Year: 2014   Rating: 2

A North Carolina State University research team led by Afsaneh Rabiei has developed a high-performance metal foam material that uses less energy during production, yet provides a high level of safety in the event of a collision. The material has a higher strength-to-density ratio than any metal foam ever been reported.

Energy use for Manufacturing
Consumers are not the only stakeholders that have incentive to lower the energy consumption. Industries involved in materials manufacturing are working to develop new materials that require less energy yet still provide high performance. Companies that build cars and airplanes are also looking for lighter materials to lower the cost to consumers for fueling over the lifetime of the product.

Metal Foam Applications
This metal foam, which is three times lighter than traditional steel, could be used in the aerospace, medical, automotive and building construction industries. Rabiei’s team conducted tests for automotive applications. ‘Rough traffic accident calculations show that by inserting two pieces of her composite metal foam behind the bumper of a car traveling 28 miles per hour (mph), the impact would feel the same to passengers as the impact if they were traveling at only 5 mph.’

Focusing on Fundamentals of Energy Use
In addition to solutions like ‘changing light bulbs’ and buying more fuel efficient cars, we must focus on the fundamental of materials manufacturing to enable lighter cars and airplanes, and materials used in construction.

NSF Press Release

Image of Dr. Afsaneh Rabie

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