Ultra-Light Structural Steel From Metal Foams

Period of Performance: 11/20/2000 - 11/19/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ultraclad Corp.
155 River Street
Andover, MA 01810
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Phase I results were extremely positive and a plan for Phase II follow-on work is hereby presented. Foam core steel sandwich panels, based on Fraunhofer Institute technology, were successfully demonstrated in subscale during Phase I. The process path of HIP plus foaming and HIP plus deformation (rolling) and foaming produced panels superior to all other steel foam process methodologies thus far explored. The following issues were identified for further effort, understanding, and improvement in Phase II: Improvement in pore size distribution, improved theoretical understanding of the mechanism of steel foaming, foam demonstration and scale-up of steel foam panels via a HIP plus roll plus foam approach and fabrication of a protoype naval vessel door with Bath iron Works. The properties of steel foams and steel foam sandwiches suggest numerous potential applications in advanced ship designs: o Hulls using steel foam sandwiches with steel face sheets o Elevator platforms o Pontoons, docks, buoys, cargo-loading decks, life rafts o Fire doors, bulkheads, partitions, floors, cabin interiors o Lightweight, damage-tolerant rapid-deployment pallets and cargo containers o Blast deflectors and pyrotechnic lockers o Antenna platforms o Deck ramps, hatch covers, stern gates o Lightweight ladders, scaffolding, and furniture