Processing and Characterization of Lightweight Syntactic Materials

Report No. ARL-TR-7857
Authors: Oliver Strbik III and Vincent H Hammond
Date/Pages: October 2016; 82 pages
Abstract: Composed of hollow spheres encapsulated in a metal matrix, syntactic metal foams offer significant potential as lightweight energy-absorbing materials. Moreover, due to the ability to select shell composition and shape, as well as matrix materials, these materials can readily be optimized for a given application and/or property requirement (density, compressive strength, etc.) This report details the noteworthy advances achieved in the processing and characterization of hollow spheres as well as their subsequent incorporation into lightweight (aluminum, magnesium) metal matrices via various metal processing methods. The performance of the resulting foam materials under quasi-static and dynamic loading, as well as their thermal and acoustic response, are presented and discussed. In addition, the performance of armor packages that incorporate selected syntactic metal foams against representative threats was evaluated in comparison with current standards. Collectively, results from the various studies indicate that syntactic metal foams can offer significant advantages in performance accompanied by appreciable weight savings. Consequently, it is anticipated that syntactic metal foams will soon be considered for a range of applications in various industrial sectors (automotive, aerospace, etc.).
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2016