Wood Foam and Metal Sponge Hybrid Material
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Wood foam and metal sponges are exotic materials with interesting properties that deviate from those of conventional materials. By merging both materials, the Fraunhofer Institutes WKI, IFAM and IWU generate a novel, lightweight composite that is sustainable both in its production and in its use.
At Fraunhofer WKI, a pressure-resistant and open-pore wood foam was developed. The wood foam consists of 100 % wood fibers and requires no synthetic binding agents, as the binding properties of the wood fibers themselves are utilized. Hereby, densities of 50 to 200 kg/m³ can be achieved, meaning that this is a wood-based lightweight design material that is completely recyclable [1, 2].
The manufacture of wood foam is realized within a few steps using techniques that are for the most part well established in the wood, paper and concrete industries. As the wood is very finely shredded during the process, forest thinnings and sawmill by- products can be used as raw materials....