Small spheres of sintered metal, with a very high strength weight ratio.
Cellular metals are a distinctly odd material to hold, they feel light and gritty but you can sense their strength if you try and compress them. Even taking a single bead which weighs next to nothing you can’t compress with your fingers alone. Commonly found in crumple zones in cars to help absorb damage this light weight material may have many more uses
- Low weight
- High Strength
- Can be cut like a solid
- Has high heat insulation
- Difficult to produce
- Limited production
- Use of gases can have environmental risks.
Manufacture & Fabrication
Cellular metals are made from individual polystyrene balls coated in metal powder which is then heated evaporating the polystyrene away and sealing the metal and then sintering the balls in geometrically uniform shapes. As for shaping they can be cut to shape and formed with saws and other tools similair to a block of styrofoam however bending forces are likely to collapse the structure.
Durability & Sustainability
The cellular metals have along life span if left to themselves as they can be treated to make sure they don’t degrade. The material has a good sustainability factor in that the use of material is remarkably low allowing for a low cost production and can be easily reused but bad in that the polystyrene is consumed however the expanded foam does not use a large amount of plastic.