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Performance and applications of porous foam metal materials

With the rise of materials engineering, various new types of materials have gradually entered people’s lives. One such material is porous foam metal, which has emerged in recent years as a high-performance material. Essentially, it is a metal material with specific specifications, quantities, and pore sizes. From the literal meaning, it can be seen that porous foam metal materials are a combination of metal and gas, so they combine the advantages of bubbles and metal. This material not only possesses energy absorption and flame-retardant properties, but also the characteristic of being lightweight. As a result, it can be widely utilized in construction engineering, shock absorption materials, and battery electrode materials, offering a promising future for its development.


The characteristics and application scope of porous foam metal materials can be explored from a wild perspective.

  1. Permeability

Permeability is an important property in materials engineering and a critical performance factor in controlling the filtration, liquid separation, and noise reduction of high porosity materials. There are many factors that influence the permeability of materials, with the most significant being the number of closed pores in foam metals. Additionally, the permeability is also influenced by the size and smoothness of the pores. In practical applications, permeability is primarily utilized in devices such as filters and gas processors, and operators can adjust the structure of foam metal pores to obtain materials with different functionalities.

Copper Foam
Copper Foam
  1. Noise reduction and shock absorption

Due to the porous nature of metal materials, they have excellent noise reduction capabilities. When sound waves and vibration waves enter the pores, the air inside the pores will generate a certain amount of heat energy due to the vibration of the sound waves and vibration waves. This transformation process is irreversible and is the main noise reduction mechanism of porous metal foam materials. Moreover, the material itself can also consume a portion of the sound waves through elastic vibration, ultimately achieving the goal of soundproofing. Porous metal foam materials offer advantages that other soundproofing materials do not have. Firstly, they can withstand high temperatures and do not release toxic gases at high temperatures. Secondly, they have a solid texture and can be used independently as soundproofing materials. Lastly, they are also resistant to contamination and can be easily recycled. In addition, this material also has excellent shock absorption capabilities and can be widely used in buffers, vibration absorbers, and air transport packaging boxes, providing effective protection against impacts and vibrations.

  1. Thermal conductivity

The thermal conductivity of porous foam metal materials is excellent, and this is mainly due to the presence of a large amount of low thermal conductivity air medium in the pores of the material. The thermal conductivity decreases with the increase of porosity. Generally speaking, the thermal conductivity of porous foam metal materials is only 0.01 times that of ordinary metal materials. In practical applications, the heat dissipation performance of the material can be improved by increasing the distance between the pores and increasing the porosity rate, thereby enhancing its convective heat transfer capability. Moreover, this characteristic of the material has found widespread application in heat sinks.

Copper Foam 1 (8)

  1. Impact resistance

From the perspective of the properties of porous foam metal materials, they possess a reticulated structure and non-directional pore structure that set them apart from other materials. The existence of these structures enables the material to have compressive strain capacity, which significantly enhances its ability to resist impact compared to other materials. When the material is subjected to a large impact force, its strain caCopper Foam 1 (11)pacity lags behind the stress. As the material enters the elastic deformation process, excessive external force can cause deformation in the internal structure. This deformation mainly occurs in the material’s framework. When the external force becomes too intense, the framework is prone to fracture, and subsequently, the foam metal is compressed together due to the fracture, transforming it into solid metal. Therefore, under such structure and mechanism, porous foam metal materials exhibit superior impact resistance compared to other materials and have been widely applied in precision instrument packaging.

  1. biomedical performance

With the advancement of medical technology, biomedical performance has become a focus for healthcare professionals. In particular, porous foam metal materials, such as Ti or Co-Cr alloy, have gained attention due to their compatibility with the human body. These materials can serve as substitutes for bones and teeth, offering corrosion resistance and memory function that other materials lack. As our understanding of medical technology continues to grow, the future holds even broader and deeper applications for these materials.

Although the development of foam metals is not very short, the research process has been slow, and most researchers still focus mainly on light metals, with the most representative being the study and application of foam aluminum. When it comes to application, most departments only limit the porous foam metal materials to their partial performance, and many excellent properties cannot be fully explored. In addition, researchers have only conducted theoretical studies on the material’s application, without accurately demonstrating its feasibility and safety, hindering large-scale production. Therefore, in the future development path, researchers must have a long-term vision, accelerate the research pace, combine the excellent characteristics of porous foam metal materials with industry closely, and make better contributions to the development of human society.

Picture of 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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