Metal foam triples cooling power

Metal foam triples cooling power
Versarien is launching a patented, open pore metal foam, developed by the University of Liverpool, which combines extremely high thermal efficiency with mechanical strength and reduced weight.

Initially focusing on porous copper products, Versarien intends to extend the technology to other materials, including aluminium, in the near future.

Formed with a lost carbonate sintering process (LCS), metal and carbonate powders are mixed together, then pressed and sintered before dissolving to remove the carbonate mixer. The process can produce metal foam with porosity up to 85% and homogeneous and controllable pore sizes between 50µm and 5mm.

The open pore structure allows coolant fluid to pass through the material, and the greatly increased surface area produces heat transfer rates which are around 300% greater than is possible with current technology.

The manufacturing method distributes the pores evenly through the material, ensuring the mechanical and thermal properties are constant throughout each component, and can be repeated for batches of parts – which has been a problem with metal foams up until now.

The Versarien technology allows for the moulding of components to a net shape during the pressing process.

Author
Justin Cunningham

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