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Syntactic Iron Foams – On Deformation Mechanisms and Strain-Rate Dependence of Compressive Properties



Syntactic iron foams are produced by metal injection moulding from pure Fe powder and two grades of commercial glass microspheres. Mechanical performance of samples containing 5/10/13 wt% of microspheres is compared to unfilled reference material properties at strain-rates covering 6 orders of magnitude, including Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) experiments. Complex mechanical behavior including strengthening effects of microspheres leading to a plateau strength level which is nearly independent of porosity as well as strain-rate sensitivity of compressive properties are observed. Typical plateau onset stress levels exceed equivalent characteristics of most comparable cellular metallic materials, reaching between approximately 220 and 270 MPa under quasi-static conditions, depending on amount and type of added microspheres. A qualitative explanation of significant events in the deformation sequence as reflected in the stress–strain-curve is offered and discussed in the context of existing studies on syntactic foams. A course for further investigations to verify this hypothesis is suggested.