Recently, a new class of ceramic foams with porosity levels up to 90% has been developed as a result of the association of the gelcasting process and aeration of the ceramic suspension. This paper presents and discusses original results advertising sound absorbing capabilities of such foams. The authors man- ufactured three types of alumina foams in order to investigate three porosity levels, namely: 72, 88, and 90%. The microstructure of foams was examined and typical dimensions and average sizes of cells (pores) and cell-linking windows were found for each porosity case. Then, the acoustic absorption coefficient was measured in a wide frequency range for several samples of various thickness cut out from the foams. The results were discussed and compared with the acoustic absorption of typical polyurethane foams proving that the alumina foams with high porosity of 88-90% have excellent sound absorbing properties competitive with the quality of sound absorbing PU foams of higher porosity.
The subject of the study are alumina foams produced by gelcasting method. The results of micro-computed tomography of the foam samples are used to create the numerical model reconstructing the real structure of the foam skeleton as well as the simplified periodic open-cell structure models. The aim of the paper is to present a new idea of the energy-based assessment of failure strength under uniaxial compression of real alumina foams of various porosity with use of the periodic structure model of the same porosity. Considering two kinds of cellular structures: the periodic one, for instance of fcc type, and the random structure of real alumina foam it is possible to justify the hypothesis, computationally and experimentally, that the same elastic energy density cumulated in the both structures of the same porosity allows to determine the close values of fracture strength under compression. Application of finite element computations for the analysis of deformation and failure processes in real ceramic foams is time consuming. Therefore, the use of simplified periodic cell structure models for the assessment of elastic moduli and failure strength appears very attractive from the point of view of practical applications.