Effect of fractal distribution of the porosity on mechanical properties of Al foams manufactured by infiltration
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Mechanical properties of metallic foams are highly dependent on the characteristics of porosity. In the case of foams manufactured using space holder particles (SHPs), parameters such as percentage porosity, pore size and cell wall thickness are directly contingent on the SHP used. In this work, different fractal distributions of SHPs were introduced in order to modify the resulting porosity. An Al–Si–Cu alloy was used as raw material for producing metallic foams by infiltration, while NaCl particles of 2 and 4 mm were used as SHPs, modifying the small-to-large particle ratio and fractal dimensions. Cylindrical foams of 10 cm in height and 5 cm in diameter were obtained by infiltrating the Al alloy into the SHPs. Results showed that the use of fractal distribution allowed to slightly increase the percentage porosity, whereas the most important effect was the decrease in cell wall thickness when fractal dimension increased. Mechanical properties were directly affected by these modifications, decreasing when fractality was induced. Finite element analysis models of the foams were obtained in a combination with discrete element method, in order to simulate their compressive elastic behaviors. Young’s modulus estimations were in excellent agreement with experimental results, validating the effect of fractal inclusion and the importance of the correct model selection.
KeywordsFoam FEA DEM Fractal Infiltration
I. Alfonso would like to acknowledge the financial support from SEP CONACYT 285215 and UNAM PAPIIT IN117316. R. Drew acknowledges the financial support from PREI DGAPA UNAM. L. Pérez acknowledges the financial support from the Advanced Center for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, AC3E, Basal Project FB0008, CONICYT. R. Ganesan acknowledges the financial support from the Chilean Agency CONICYT (FONDECYT Project 3150411).
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