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characteristics of titanium foam

Nickel Foam
Nickel Foam

Foam metal has become one of the top ten new materials due to its excellent performance. Among them, foam titanium is a new type of functional material developed in the 21st century, which combines the advantages of porous structure and titanium alloy. Compared with traditional dense titanium alloy, foam titanium has smaller density, excellent mechanical properties, and unique functional characteristics. It is widely used in aerospace, marine engineering, biomedical, and other fields. In comparison with foam aluminum, foam titanium has a higher melting point and better insulation properties. Titanium also has the characteristics of low density and good corrosion resistance, making it more suitable for application in harsh service environments such as aviation, aerospace, and military. Foam titanium has excellent biocompatibility, and its pores can transport nutrients for the growth of connective tissue, promoting cell growth and differentiation. Therefore, it is widely used in the production of artificial bones, teeth, and other bio-simulated structures. Foam titanium can also be used in the production of fuel cells and electrodes, and the presence of a large number of pores is beneficial to the release of energy in the electrochemical reaction process.

  1. Compressive and Energy Absorption Performance

The porous structure of foam titanium gives it excellent compressive performance. As the relative density increases, the compressive stress of foam titanium at room temperature also increases. Under the same strain, the energy absorption per unit volume increases as the porosity of foam titanium decreases. The maximum energy absorption efficiency of foam titanium is 0.27, and the ideal energy absorption rate is approximately 0.78, indicating that foam titanium with a porosity of 71% to 88% is suitable for energy absorption applications.

 

HGP conductive sponge (2)

 

  1. Biocompatibility

An ideal bone graft material should possess osteogenic, osteoconductive, and osteoinductive properties. The porous structure and elastic modulus of foam titanium are similar to human bones, allowing for good compatibility with human tissues. Muscles can grow into the pores, and bodily fluids can flow into them. Moreover, when foam titanium undergoes special treatments such as NaOH, CaCl2, H2SO4/HCl chemical immersion, and heat treatment, it can be deeply penetrated by newly formed bone tissue (bone conduction). For example, a porous titanium layer formed through sequential chemical and heat treatments in artificial hip joints can be penetrated by new bone in a biologically active manner, tightly fixing it to the surrounding bones. Although the thickness of these porous titanium layers is generally less than 1mm, if the pore size is appropriate, bones can grow into deeper regions throughout the porous structure. Foam titanium with a porosity of 50% and an average pore size of 300μm, prepared by sintering, can be used to create dog bone tissue that has already grown to the central part of the foam titanium pores after three months of chemical and heat treatment. For treated foam titanium, the contact area between the bone implant and dog bone tissue accounts for 35% of the implant area, while for untreated foam titanium, the contact area is only 11%. By customizing the porous structure, foam titanium can have excellent permeability and absorption performance, allowing for fluid transport and promoting bone growth, cell migration, attachment, and the enhancement of new bone tissue growth and vascularization. Therefore, foam titanium is commonly used as a scaffold for bone implants.

HGP conductive sponge (1)

  1. Shielding Performance

Foam titanium exhibits significant electromagnetic shielding effects, with better shielding performance at low frequencies. Porous foam metal can attenuate incident microwaves through reflection, scattering, and absorption, thereby reducing electromagnetic energy. The electromagnetic shielding efficiency of foam titanium decreases initially and then increases as the frequency of electromagnetic waves increases. The electromagnetic shielding performance of closed-cell foam metal is mainly related to factors such as reflection loss, absorption loss, multiple reflections within the pores, and eddy current loss. Among them, reflection loss and multiple reflections within the pores are dominant, while absorption loss and eddy current loss contribute more in the high-frequency range.

  1. 4. Sound Absorption Performance

The sound absorption mechanism of foam metal mainly involves the damping attenuation of the material itself, the viscous dissipation generated by friction between the pore walls and the fluid inside the pores, and the interference sound absorption caused by sound wave reflection. Most metals have poor inherent damping ability, so foam metal mainly attenuates sound waves through friction, viscous response, and reflection mechanisms. In the frequency range of 200 to 6300 Hz, foam titanium with larger pore size exhibits better sound absorption performance when the frequency is below 4250 Hz, while foam titanium with smaller pore size exhibits better sound absorption performance when the frequency is above 4250 Hz. Higher sound frequencies may cause more air vibrations within the pores, resulting in greater viscous forces between the air and the pore walls. At this time, sound energy is mainly attenuated through viscous dissipation mechanisms. Therefore, when the sound frequency exceeds a certain value, foam titanium with lower porosity and pore size exhibits better sound absorption performance.

Picture of Lu

Lu

Our materials research team from Tsinghua University postdoctoral researcher lin and Harbin Institute of Technology researcher Mu, Nanjing University of Technology researcher Wei, they share their expertise in foam metal materials article.

About HGP

WE were established in 2003, located in the Gaoxin Zone of Guangdong-Guangxi Cooperation Special Experimental Zone, covering an area of 70 mu, with a plant of about 30,000 square meters, with more than 170 employees, is an advanced new material technology enterprise integrating research and development, production and sales.

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