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HANNOVER MESSE 2020, 20 - 24 April
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Lightweight Construction

Researchers are developing metal foams that are as hard as bone

Bones are both light and hard. Researchers from Saarland are using them as a model to develop extremely robust metal foams. The underlying process is being unveiled at the HANNOVER MESSE.

01 Apr. 2019
HMI-ID03-046ds_OliverDietze_UniSaarland
Researchers are developing metal foams that are as hard as bone (Photo: Oliver Dietze/Universität des Saarlandes)

Scientists are exploiting the construction principle of bones for metal foams: they consist of a hard shell and an inside made of fine strips that use relatively little material, combined with lots of hollow spaces. There are already some metal foams that use this principle according to Saarland University . But on the one hand, they are often too complex and expensive to make, while on the other hand the small strips of material are frequently too soft. The team of researchers has now come up with the idea of coating each of the little pieces – using a patented process. As a result, the foams become so strong overall that they are able to withstand pressure or sound waves, for example. There are also many potential areas of application in lightweight engineering. The invention is to be marketed by MacPanther Materials , a company founded by the university. The startup will be providing more information at the HANNOVER MESSE at Stand B46 in Hall 2.

Bionics has already led to many important achievements. The company Festo , for example, has developed the Fluidic Muscle, a pneumatic drive that is based on a human muscle. And Velcro even bears the name of the person who came up with the idea.

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