The work deals with possibilities of using this specific material. It is focused on cast metal foams with a regular arrangement of internal cells and it refers to already used casting technologies – the production of metal foamswith the aid of sand cores. Metal foamsare used in many industries, such as: automotive, aerospace, construction, power engineering. They have unique propertiesand due to lower weight with sufficient strength and greater contact surface can be used, for example, for the conduction of heat. This article deals with the useof the metal foam as a heat exchanger. The efficiency of the heat exchanger depends on its shape and size and therefore the study is focused first on the optimization of the shape before the proper manufacture.
The preliminary results of the application of open-celled glassy-carbon foam (Cof) in magnesium matrix composites processed by the powder metallurgy method were presented. For the component consolidation, compaction with vertically-torsional vibration and hot-pressing were applied. For the material characterization, the microstructure examination LM and SEM with EDS was employed and also, the porosity and microhardness were measured. An influence of the carbon foam cells’ size on the composite porosity and microhardness was revealed. Additionally, a generation of a few micrometer thin and differently shaped MgO inclusions was observed. Differences in the oxide phase amount, size and shape in the magnesium matrix measured by the quantitative metallography method in the cross-sectioned composite elements were stated. With an increase of the distance from the composite roller top, an increase of the MgO content and microhardness was noticed.
Development of open cellular metal foam technology based on investment casting applying the polyurethane pattern is discussed. Technological process comprises preparing of the ceramic mold applying PUR foam as the pattern, firing of the mold, pouring of the liquid Zn-Al alloy into the mold and washing out of the ceramic material from cellular casting. Critical parameters such as the temperature of mold and poured metal, design of gating system affected by metalostatic pressure allowed to produce castings with cellular structure characterized by the open porosity. Metal cellular foams with the open porosity embedded in phase change material (PCM) enhance heat transfer and reduce time operations in energy storage systems. Charging and discharging were performed at the laboratory accumulator by heating and cooling with flowing water characterized by the temperatures of 97-100oC. Temperature measurements were collected from 7 different thermocouples located in the accumulator. In relation to the tests with pure paraffin, embedding of the metal Zn-Al cellular foam in paraffin significantly decreases temperature gradients and melting time of paraffin applied as PCM characterized by the low thermal conductivity. Similarly, reduction of discharging time by this method improves the efficiency of thermal energy storage system applied in solar power plants or for the systems of energy efficient buildings.