Home» Aluminum Foam for Automotive Application
Modern automobiles call for several advanced features such as energy efficient crash safe structures, efficient thermal management system, silent ride and reduced vibration. Aluminium foams not only have high energy absorption and sound absorption characteristics, but are also light weight. Inclusion of aluminium foams into automotive structures increases the levels of density compensated design indices such as bending stiffness, bending strength, energy absorption, flexural damping etc. The possible application areas of aluminium foam in automobiles are: crash box, pillars and frames, Rear Under Protection Device (RUPD), Side Under Protection Device (SUPD), engine mount brackets, floor panels etc.
Crashbox: A crash box is placed between the impact beam and the front rail of the car to absorb medium speed collision energy, thereby reducing repair costs. The benefits of SAF-filled crash boxes include:
Rails: These sections offer very good bending stiffness for weight, but often fail prematurely because of localized damage. Traditionally, steel stampings are used for additional support at weak points in a rail such as curves, but these additional parts add complexity and cost to the system.
The advantages of using Stabilized Aluminum Foam (SAF) filled rails are outlined below:
Bumper: The demands being placed on bumper systems are becoming increasingly complex. Safety requirements for occupants and pedestrians demand more functionality. The consumer and the insurance industry desire systems that are easily repairable and that protect other, more expensive, components.
Internal Occupant Protection: Internal occupant protection is largely concerned with reducing the severity of head injury experienced by the occupant in an accident. Examples of internal automotive parts that could be made from SAF are headliners, headrests, and A and B pillar covers.
A and B Pillars: Foam can be inserted into pillars and held in place by adhesive, expanding polymer foams or by mechanical methods. The Benefits are similar to those noted in rail-reinforced applications and include:
Hoods: Impending legislation in Europe will require car makers to make pedestrian safety an integral consideration in front-end design. One element of the legislation is protecting pedestrians from injury when the pedestrian’s head hits the hood. Advantages of an SAF hood are given below.
Stabilized Aluminum Foam (SAF) Cores for Castings: The aluminum foundry and die-casting industry typically uses sand cores to make hollow cavities in metal castings and rib structures where stiffening is required.