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Materials World magazine
3 Sep 2015

What is syntactic foam?

An aluminum alloy filled with hollow alumina particles sandwiched with carbon fabric face-sheets.

Who is involved? 

Nikhil Gupta, Associate Professor at New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, USA, Deep Springs Technology, USA, and the US Army Research Laboratory.

How does it work?

The team developed the composite material to retain its strength when bent or compressed - overcoming a typical flaw in these materials. The foams have porosity enclosed inside a stiff ceramic particles, which can withstand high compressive pressure.

What could this replace?

This lightweight load-bearing composite material could replace heavier steel or aluminum parts. The syntactic foams can also be used as core materials in sandwich structures for large-scale structural panels in ships.

What are some of the applications?

This technology is finding applications in marine vessels and automotive floorboard panels because of its light weight, increased stiffness, and high-energy absorption under compression. It also has high sound and vibration damping capability.

To view the full paper, ‘Syntatic foam core metal matrix sandwich composite: Compressive properties and strain rate effects,’ visit bit.ly/1WcEmFZ