Applications

Some Specific Applications:

Crash Box

  • Being considered by many European auto makers as a means of minimizing damage to a car in an accident
  • Foam-filled tube between bumper and frame of the body can absorb the energy of a low-speed impact before serious damage occurs

Reinforcing Pillars (A, B, C pillars, front rail, etc)

  • SAF in a pillar stabilizes the structure and allows it to absorb more energy

Cymat was part of a partnership headed by Tomasz Wierzbicki, Professor and Director of the Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a three-year research program that included industrial partners such as Volvo, Honda and Ford, MIT concluded that Aluminum Foams have great potential for increasing energy absorption in certain crash situation.

The following are excerpts from two research reports on foam-filled tubes:

Report 33 - June 2000: Bending Collapse of Thin-Walled Beams with Ultra-light Filler: Numerical Simulations and Weight Optimization. (Chen, Wierzbicki and Santosa)
"The optimized specific energy absorption of foam-filled beams is about 60% higher than that of non-filled beams for the specific target energy absorption levels. This substantiates the argument that the foam-filled members are superior to non-filled ones in the light of weight-effective energy absorption."
Report 34 - May 2000: Effect of the Cross-Sectional Shape on Crash Behaviour of a 3-D Space Frame. (Kim and Wierzbicki)

"The ultra-light metallic foam-filled method appears to be the most effective way to reinforce the member under crush loading." The study further states, "A more than 600% increase of energy absorbed is achieved by foam filling." (See the graph below)

Transportation

In all transportation industries a main goal in design is to make the vehicle safer. Potential applications for Cymat Stabilized Aluminum Foam (SAF) in terms of this goal include:

Safety

  • Improving the energy management in the front ends of truck and trains
  • Improving the internal occupant protection in the passenger compartment
  • Protecting goods in transit