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Foamed Aluminum: Military & Automotive Applications

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SmartMetal™ stabilized aluminum foam products are effective at absorbing large amounts of energy in an efficient, lightweight, and recyclable package. Each products density can be tuned to deliver effective blast attenuation from an assortment of present and future threats. In combination with composite systems, SmartMetal™ can be configured to neutralize multi-threat events.

Based on over 20+ independently commissioned blast events, SmartMetal™ convincingly demonstrates the ability to attenuate high speed blast impulses. Data has shown our products to be strain-rate insensitive and provide a G loading reduction by 10-to-1, thereby increasing survivability at any threat level.

The SmartMetal™ cellular structure and density is key to its large energy absorption capabilities. As a blast front hits SmartMetal™, the bubbles collapse, absorbing energy and attenuating the transfer of this destructive force to targeted vehicles or building structures and its occupants.

SmartMetal™ Features:

SmartMetal™ is a unique product that can provide the following key features:

  • Lightweight energy absorbing material
  • Dissipates energy through progressive deformation
  • Decreases blast acceleration to interior cabin
  • Density tunable to specific blast applications
  • Material is strain rate insensitive and isotropic
  • Non-combustible and stable at elevated temperatures
  • Exhibits acoustic / EMR absorption and vibration damping
  • Good stiffness-to-weight ratio
  • Buoyant

Energy Absorption

The stress-strain graph presented below outlines the typical compressive behaviour of a specific density of SmartMetal™. Because of SmartMetal™’s isotropic features and the production process’ ability to adjust to a wide range of thicknesses and densities multi-hit capabilities can be designed into the product to increase the survivability level of the complete energy absorbing system.

When characterizing the performance of SmartMetal™, three distinct regions appear during crush loading. Note that this behavior is near identical at all strain-rates. The first stage is described as the Initial Yield Stress (IYS) point, which marks the end of the elastic region at the highest stress level needed to initiate plastic deformation. As incremental stress amounts crushes the activated material down, a virtually flat Plateau Stress curve demonstrates excellent efficiency in absorbing energy. Finally, increasing Densification occurs and the material will absorb even higher energy levels until eventually the compression behavior of solid aluminum begins.

SmartMetal™ is manufactured into large dimensional panels for both interior and exterior blast attenuating systems as well as near-net shaped castings for more complex geometric volumes found in internal vehicle structures.

SmartMetal TM Specifications:

Density range (SI):
0.11 g/cc to 0.6g/cc

Density range (IMP.):
6.87 pcf to 37.45 pcf

Density range (relative):
4% to 22%

Panel thickness (SI):
9.5 mm to 89 mm

Panel thickness (IMP.):
3/8 in. to 3.5 in.

Maximum Panel Dimensions (SI):
1.22 m x 3.66 m

Maximum Panel Dimensions (IMP.):
4ft x 12 ft

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