a1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Low-density, open-cell nickel base superalloy foams have been synthesized by a high-rate, electron beam-directed vapor deposition process and their mechanical properties evaluated. The deposition process uses an open-cell polymer foam template upon which is deposited a metal alloy coating. The electron beam evaporated flux was entrained in a rarefied transonic gas jet and propagated along the flow stream lines through the polymer structure. After vapor deposition, the polymer template was removed by low-temperature thermal decomposition. The resultant ultralightweight metal foams consisted of a three-dimensional open cell, reticulated structure possessing hollow triangular ligaments with relative densities of <3%. Their mechanical integrity was increased by either pressureless or transient liquid phase sintering. The mechanical properties of these ultralightweight metal foams were comparable to theoretical predictions for open-cell, reticulated foams.
(Received September 06 2000)
(Accepted January 17 2001)