Design and Fabrication of Metal Matrix Syntactic Foams by Low-Pressure Injection Molding


Metal matrix syntactic foams are particulate composite foams composed of a supporting metal matrix and high-strength hollow particles. These materials have higher specific strengths and specific stiffnesses compared to solid metals and metal foams. The reinforced porosity in these foams is the primary cause of this increase in strength-to-density ratio. Metal matrix syntactic foams can be difficult to manufacture, however, without extensive fracture of the hollow particles. The first goal of this study was to optimize a water-based binder for low-pressure injection molding of metal matrix syntactic foams. The optimized binder composition was 7% agar, 4% glycerin, and 89% water. The second goal of this study was to test the material compatibility between silicate glass materials and copper alloys. It was found the common copper sintering aids reacted negatively with silicate glasses such that they melted at or below the sintering temperature of the metal. Pure copper does not have this issue, but it is conversely difficult to sinter to full density.

Meeting Name

11th International Conference on Porous Metals and Metallic Foams, MetFoam 2019 (2019: Aug. 20-23, Dearborn, MI)


Materials Science and Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


Minerals, Metals and Materials Series

Keywords and Phrases

Injection molding; Metal; Syntactic foam

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Aug 2020