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Properties of heat-treated aluminium foams

: Lehmhus, D.; Banhart, J.


Materials Science and Engineering, A. Structural materials, properties, microstructure and processing 349 (2003), Nr.1-2, S.98-110
ISSN: 0921-5093
ISSN: 1873-4936
Fraunhofer IFAM ()
heat treated aluminium foam; wrought alloy AA6061; heat treatment; mechanical property; quenching; foaming; solution heat treatment; cooling rate; age hardening cycle; microhardness; compression property; foam; strength; foamed structure

Aluminium foams based on the wrought alloy AA6061 were subjected to different heat treatments in order to evaluate possibilities to tailor their mechanical properties. Quenching after foaming was carried out either in air or in water. Solution heat treatment conditions were varied from 'no treatment' to treatments combined with different air and water quenching methods. This gave rise to different cooling rates that were measured in-situ. Full age-hardening cycles were compared to heat treatments in which a simplified programme was applied. In total, the effect of nine different heat treatments on micro-hardness and the compression properties of foams were investigated. Foams that were fully heat-treated performed best with an increase of strength by 60-75% over the untreated samples. However, age-hardening directly after foaming also caused significant improvements of strength, thus allowing to omit water quenching steps which carry the danger of damaging the foamed structure.