Open-cell aluminium foams with graded coatings as passively controllable energy absorbers. New paper out in collaboration with Universität Saarland. Congrats to Lars and Anne

Compared to most bulk materials, open-cell aluminium (Al) foams (OCAFs) are light-weight and can absorb a significant amount of energy in compression, e.g. during impact. When coated with nickel (Ni), OCAFs can absorb even more energy, making them more appropriate for impacts at higher velocities than uncoated OCAFs. When Ni-coated OCAFs experience low-velocity impact however, the stopping distance during the impact is small compared to that of uncoated OCAFs and hence, deceleration occurs fast. This exposes devices (and possibly human beings) protected by OCAFs to large internal forces leading to internal damage. An OCAF that combines the properties of uncoated and coated OCAFs can absorb energy during both low-velocity and high-velocity impact scenarios. This contribution introduces two of such OCAFs which are created by partially and gradually coating OCAFs. The general mechanics of the two OCAFs are revealed using experimental and numerical observation methods.

— Stephane Bordas