Issue 35

S. Glodež et alii, Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, 35 (2016) 152-160; DOI: 10.3221/IGF-ESIS.35.18 153 Applications may at first be highly specialized, but as commercially material production volume increases, and costs decrease, widespread adoption of steel foams becomes possible [6]. Metal foams are frequently defined as either open or closed celled. Open-cell foam is comprised of only cell edges, so that open spaces exist between adjoining cells. Conversely, closed-cell foams are defined by solid faces so that each cell is closed off from those adjacent to it (Fig. 1). Figure 1 : Open-cell (a) and closed-cell (b) of metal foam [6]. The characteristics of a foam are primarily determined by the material of which it is made, its relative density, ρ/ρ s (the foam density, ρ, divided by that of the solid material of the cell wall, ρ s ), and by whether it has open or closed cells. Much of the research performed has presented the mechanical properties of foam as a function of the material’s relative density. It is possible for foams with identical relative densities to have differing cellular structure or alternative ligament geometry which could significantly influence the behaviour and properties of the material [7, 8]. Metal foams can also be classified according to their porosity, or the number of cells (pores) that exist per unit length. Foams with the same relative density but a larger number of pores per unit length will contain ligaments with smaller cross sections as a greater number of pores and thus more ligaments will exist. Lotus-type is a new type of porous material which comprises unidirectional pores. This makes the lotus-type materials very useful for application in lightweight structures, medicine, automotive engineering, sports equipment, etc. [9]. The porosity of lotus metals is usually lower than 70%, which is lower if compare to some conventional porous metals where porosity is often higher than 70% [10]. Moreover, pores of lotus-type metals are cylindrical, where the length of pores is usually large if compare to pore diameter (Fig. 2). Since the stress field around the pores depends on the loading direction, the relative high level of anisotropy is typical for lotus-type materials. While uniform stress distribution appears in the case when loading is acting along longitudinal direction of pores, the relative high stress concentration around the pores is characteristic for the perpendicular loading direction. Figure 2 : Cross section of lotus-type porous iron in transversal (a) and longitudinal (b) direction [9]. When porous material is used as a structural element, the fatigue behaviour of such porous structure should be known. Some investigations regarding fatigue behaviour of aluminium porous structures have been reported in [11-13]. However, (b) (a) (a) (b)