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Stability of metallic foams studied under microgravity

: Wübben, T.; Stanzick, H.; Banhart, J.; Odenbach, S.


Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter 15 (2003), No.1, pp.S427-S433
ISSN: 0953-8984
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

Metal foams are prepared by mixing a metal powder and a gas-releasing blowing agent, by densifying the mix to a dense precursor and finally foaming by melting the powder compact. The foaming process of aluminium foams is monitored in situ by x-ray radioscopy. One observes that foam evolution is accompanied by film rupture processes which lead to foam coalescence. In order to elucidate the importance of oxides for foam stability, lead foams were manufactured from lead powders having two different oxide contents. The two foam types were generated on Earth and under weightlessness during parabolic flights. The measurements show that the main function of oxide particles is to prevent coalescence, while their influence on bulk viscosity of the melt is of secondary importance.