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Metal foam production method and metal foam production device

Foreign code F210010313
File No. J1007-04WO
Posted date Jan 29, 2021
Country EPO
Application number 180831407
Gazette No. 3653740
Date of filing Jul 2, 2018
Gazette Date May 20, 2020
International application number JP2018025042
International publication number WO2019013026
Date of international filing Jul 2, 2018
Date of international publication Jan 17, 2019
Priority data
  • P2017-137989 (Jul 14, 2017) JP
  • 2018JP25042 (Jul 2, 2018) WO
Title Metal foam production method and metal foam production device
Abstract The present invention provides a metal foam production method that enables a foaming process to be performed at low cost and enables controlling of the shape of metal foam. According to the present invention, a mold that transmits light and a precursor prepared by mixing a metal with a foaming agent are used, and a metal foam is produced by irradiating the precursor with light that has transmitted through the mold, heating and foaming the precursor so as to prepare a metal foam, and controlling the shape of the metal foam by the mold.
Outline of related art and contending technology Background Art
Metal foam is rich in pores, and therefore is lightweight and has excellent crash energy absorption characteristics and excellent acoustic absorption characteristics. Due to these characteristics, metal foam is attracting much attention as an ultralight multi-functional material in various fields such as automobiles, railways, aerospace, and architecture (see PTL 1 to PTL 3, for example).
Conventionally, a metal foam is produced, for example, by a method in which a precursor is prepared by mixing a raw material metal with a foaming agent, and by heating the precursor with an electric furnace or the like, pores were formed by foaming the precursor with gas generated by the decomposition of the foaming agent.
In the step of foaming the precursor, a mold is used for molding the metal foam (see Fig. 1(e) of NPL 1, for example).
Citation List
Patent Literature
PTL 1: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2007-61865
PTL 2: WO2010/029864
PTL 3: WO2010/106883

Non Patent Literature
NPL 1: Takao UTSUNOMIYA, Atsumi TSUKADA and Yoshihiko HANGAI, "Manufacturing of Porous Aluminum Component by Using Die", Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series A, Vol.77, pp. 1017-1020, 2011.
Scope of claims [claim1]
1. A metal foam production method comprising the steps of:
using a mold that transmits light and a precursor made by mixing a metal with a foaming agent; and
irradiating the precursor with a light transmitted through the mold to thereby heat and foam the precursor to obtain a metal foam, and controlling the shape of the metal foam by the mold.

[claim2]
2. The metal foam production method according to claim 1, wherein the mold is made of a transparent material.

[claim3]
3. The metal foam production method according to claim 1, wherein the mold is made of a material with openings.

[claim4]
4. The metal foam production method according to claim 3, wherein the material with openings is a net made of metal.

[claim5]
5. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the mold is shaped to surround the precursor, and the metal foam is shaped by the mold.

[claim6]
6. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a plurality of dense metal materials are arranged around the precursor, and the precursor is foamed into a metal foam, so that the dense metal materials are joined by the metal foam.

[claim7]
7. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a plurality of other metal foams are arranged around the precursor, and the precursor is foamed into a metal foam, so that the other metal foams are joined by the metal foam.

[claim8]
8. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the precursor and a dense metal material are used, and the precursor is foamed into a metal foam, so that the dense metal material is joined to the metal foam.

[claim9]
9. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the precursor, a dense metal material and other metal foam are used, and the precursor is foamed into a metal foam, so that the dense metal material is joined to the other metal foam by the metal foam.

[claim10]
10. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein an irradiation range of light is selected by setting focus of a light source.

[claim11]
11. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein an irradiation range of light is selected by providing a mask having an opening and shielding the light.

[claim12]
12. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the mold is a cylindrical mold.

[claim13]
13. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein a plurality of the precursors respectively made using a plurality of types of metals having different melting points are arranged so that respective metal foams thereof are joined to each other after foaming, and each precursor is irradiated with a light so as to be heated to thereby produce a functionally graded material whose properties spatially vary.

[claim14]
14. The metal foam production method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein a plurality of metals each having different melting points are joined, and each metal of precursors in which a foaming agent is mixed with the plurality of metals is irradiated with a light so as to be heated, so that a functionally graded material whose properties spatially vary is produced.

[claim15]
15. The metal foam production method according to claim 13 or claim 14, wherein the mold is made of a material with openings, and the aperture ratio of each part of the mold corresponding to each precursor is selected so that the part corresponding to the precursor made from a metal having a lower melting point has smaller aperture ratio.

[claim16]
16. A metal foam production method comprising the steps of:
using a precursor made by mixing a metal with a foaming agent, a sealed container at least partly made of a transparent material that transmits light, and a light source arranged outside the sealed container; and
containing the precursor in the sealed container, and irradiating the precursor with a light emitted from the light source and transmitted through the transparent material to thereby heat and foam the precursor, so as to produce a metal foam.

[claim17]
17. The metal foam production method according to claim 16, wherein a mold that transmits light is arranged inside the sealed container, and the shape of the metal foam is controlled by the mold by irradiating the precursor with a light emitted from the light source, transmitted through the transparent material, and transmitted through the mold.

[claim18]
18. The metal foam production method according to claim 16 or claim 17, wherein the precursor is heated in a condition in which the sealed container is evacuated to vacuum.

[claim19]
19. The metal foam production method according to claim 16 or claim 17, wherein the precursor is heated in a condition in which the inside of the sealed container is set to a predetermined atmosphere.

[claim20]
20. A metal foam production method comprising the steps of:
using a precursor made by mixing a metal with a foaming agent, and a mold that transmits light;
irradiating the precursor with a light so that the precursor is heated and caused to foam;
during foaming, pressing the precursor with the mold so that the precursor is provided with a shape; and
irradiating the precursor with a light transmitted through the mold to produce a metal foam, while controlling the shape of the metal foam by the mold.

[claim21]
21. A metal foam production apparatus comprising:
a sealed container at least partly made of a transparent material that transmits light; and
a light source arranged outside the sealed container,
wherein a metal foam is produced by containing a precursor made by mixing a metal with a foaming agent in the sealed container, and irradiating the precursor with a light emitted from the light source and transmitted through the transparent material, so that the precursor is heated and foamed.
  • Applicant
  • JAPAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGENCY
  • Inventor
  • HANGAI YOSHIHIKO
  • AMAGAI KENJI
IPC(International Patent Classification)
Specified countries Contracting States: AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Extension States: BA ME
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