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Proceedings Paper

Structural assessment of metal foam using combined NDE and FEA
Author(s): Louis J. Ghosn; Ali Abdul-Aziz; Philippe G. Young; Richard W. Rauser
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Paper Abstract

Metal foams are expected to find use in structural applications where weight is of particular concern, such as space vehicles, rotorcraft blades, car bodies or portable electronic devices. The obvious structural application of metal foam is for light weight sandwich panels, made up of thin solid face sheets and a metallic foam core. The stiffness of the sandwich structure is increased by separating the two face sheets by a light weight foam core. The resulting high-stiffness structure is lighter than that constructed only out of the solid metal material. Since the face sheets carry the applied in-plane and bending loads, the sandwich architecture is a viable engineering concept. However, the metal foam core must resist transverse shear loads and compressive loads while remaining integral with the face sheets. Challenges relating to the fabrication and testing of these metal foam panels remain due to some mechanical properties falling short of their theoretical potential. Theoretical mechanical properties are based on an idealized foam microstructure and assumed cell geometry. But the actual testing is performed on as fabricated foam microstructure. Hence in this study, a high fidelity finite element analysis is conducted on as fabricated metal foam microstructures, to compare the calculated mechanical properties with the idealized theory. The high fidelity geometric models for the FEA are generated using series of 2D CT scans of the foam structure to reconstruct the 3D metal foam geometry. The metal foam material is an aerospace grade precipitation hardened 17-4 PH stainless steel with high strength and high toughness. Tensile, compressive, and shear mechanical properties are deduced from the FEA model and compared with the theoretical values. The combined NDE/FEA provided insight in the variability of the mechanical properties compared to idealized theory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5767, Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Composites, and Civil Infrastructure IV, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601753
Show Author Affiliations
Louis J. Ghosn, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
The Ohio Aerospace Institute (United States)
Ali Abdul-Aziz, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Cleveland State Univ. (United States)
Philippe G. Young, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Richard W. Rauser, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Univ. of Toledo (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5767:
Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Composites, and Civil Infrastructure IV
Peter J. Shull; Andrew L. Gyekenyesi; Aftab A. Mufti, Editor(s)

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