Effects of alumina (Al2O3) addition on the cell structure and mechanical properties of 6061 foams


In this study, a powder blend representing 6061 Al-alloy was first mixed with Al2O3 ceramic particles and then foamed by using the powder compact melting method. 6061-Al2O3 foams and control specimens 6061 foams (without ceramic reinforcement) were produced. The effects of both different ratios of Al2O3 particle addition and different kinds of heat treatment on hardenability, structure and mechanical behavior of the final foams were investigated. Foams that were fully heat treated had the highest hardness values, and they performed best with an increase in collapse strength up to 100% over the untreated samples. Improved cell structure and decreased drainage were obtained when the Al2O3 addition was not more than 5 vol%. The compression test results were interpreted in terms of the foam’s microstructure, and correlations were made relating to the unloading modulus and compression strength of the foams to the relative density.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

FIG. 1.
FIG. 2.
FIG. 3.
FIG. 4.
FIG. 5.
FIG. 6.
FIG. 7.
FIG. 8.
FIG. 9.


  1. 1.

    J. Banhart: Manufacture, characterization and application of cellular metals and metal foams. Prog. Mater. Sci. 46, 559 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    J. Banhart: Metal foams: Production and stability. Adv. Eng. Mater. 8, 781 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    V. Gergely and B. Clyne: The FORMGRIP process: Foaming of reinforced metals by gas release in precursors. Adv. Eng. Mater. 2, 175 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    J. Baumeister and H. Schrader: Methods for manufacturing foamable metal bodies. U.S. Patent 5 151 246, 1992.

  5. 5.

    C. Körner, M. Arnold, and R.F. Singer: Metal foam stabilization by oxide network particles. Mater. Sci. Eng., A. 396, 28 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    D. Lehmhus and M. Busse: Potential new matrix alloys for production of PM aluminium foams. Adv. Eng. Mater. 6, 391 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    F. Von Zeppelin, M. Hirscher, H. Stanzick, and J. Banhart: Desorption of hydrogen from blowing agents used for foaming metals. Compos. Sci. Technol. 63, 2293 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    B. Matijasevic and J. Banhart: Improvement of aluminium foam technology by tailoring of blowing agent. Scr. Mater. 54, 503 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    B. Matijasevic-Lux, J. Banhart, S. Fiechter, O. Görke, and N. Wanderka: Modification of titanium hydride for improved aluminium foam manufacture. Acta Mater. 54, 1887 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    A.R. Kennedy: The effect of TiH2 heat treatment on gas release and foaming in Al-TiH2 preforms. Scr. Mater. 47, 763 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    A.R. Kennedy and S. Asavavisithchai: Effect of ceramic particle additions on foam expansion and stability in compaced Al-TiH2 powder precursors. Adv. Eng. Mater. 6, 400 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    S. Elbir, S. Yilmaz, A.K. Toksoy, M. Guden, and I.W. Hall: SiC-particulate aluminum composite foams produced by powder compacts: Foaming and compression behavior. J. Mater. Sci. 38, 4745 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    A.R. Kennedy and S. Asavavisithchai: Effects of TiB2 particle addition on the expansion, structure and mechanical properties of PM Al foams. Scr. Mater. 50, 115 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    S. Asavavisithchai and A.R. Kennedy: The effect of Mg addition on the stability of Al-Al2O3 foams made by a powder metallurgy route. Scr. Mater. 54, 1331 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    S. Esmaeelzadeh, A. Simchi, and D. Lehmhus: Effect of ceramic particle addition on the foaming behavior, cell structure and mechanical properties of P/M AlSi7 foam. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 424, 290 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    M. Haesche, J. Weise, F. Garcia-Moreno, and J. Banhart: Influence of particle additions on the foaming behavior of AlSi11/TiH2 composites made by semi-solid processing. Mater. Sci. Eng., A. 480, 283 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    D. Lehmhus and J. Banhart: Properties of heat-treated aluminium foams. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 349, 98 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    M.F. Ashby, A.G. Evans, N.A. Fleck, L.J. Gibson, J.W. Hutchinson, and H.N.G. Wadley: Metal Foams: A Design Guide (Butterworth Heineman, MA, 2000).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    H.P. Degischer and B. Kriszt: Handbook of Cellular Metals: Production, Processing, Applications (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2002).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    C. Körner: Foam formation mechanisms in particle suspensions applied to metal foams. Mater. Sci. Eng., A. 495, 227 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    A. Dudka, F. Garcia-Moreno, N. Wanderka, and J. Banhart: Structure and distribution of oxides in aluminium foam. Acta Mater. 56, 3990 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    L.J. Gibson and M.F. Ashby: Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties, 2nd ed. (Cambridge Solid State Science Series, Cambridge, England, 1999).

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    M.F. Ashby: Criteria for selecting the components of composites. Acta Metall. Mater. 41, 1313 (1993).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    K.Y.G. McCullough, N.A. Fleck, and M.F. Ashby: Uniaxial stress-strain behavior of aluminium alloy foams. Acta Mater. 47, 2323 (1999).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported in part by the Turkish State Planning Agency (DPT-03K120250) and Bogazici University Scientific Research Projects (BAP-07A603D).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Onder Albayrak.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mahmutyazicioglu, N., Albayrak, O., Ipekoglu, M. et al. Effects of alumina (Al2O3) addition on the cell structure and mechanical properties of 6061 foams. Journal of Materials Research 28, 2509–2519 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2013.187

Download citation