Conventional wisdom states that a bone is one of the most solid biological materials. Osseous tissue withstands compression well and is not easily destructed. The scientists decided to use it as an analogue for the creation of the metal of future. Technological advance bodes a myriad of opportunities to modify traditional materials like metal. Aluminum foam is a structure that consists mainly of aluminum and a great deal of gas-filled pores. Vacuum constitutes around 75-95% of its volume. The material has an incredibly low weight. Aluminum foam is so light that it easily floats on the surface of water. At the same time, its mechanical strength is several times greater as compared to that of other traditional metals. Aluminum foam was first discovered in the early 1950s. Its manufacturing technology is very laborious, as it demands an injection of foaming agents under the high temperature into the fused metal.
Aluminum foam easily withstands high pressures, muffles sound, attenuates vibrations, and is a good insulator. It is amenable to drilling, sawing and milling, which is exactly the reason why this material has recently become ubiquitous in the processing industry. Therefore, automotive engineers utilize aluminum foam successfully for the protection of cars from jolts. As a matter of fact, chemical industry workers use it as a catalyst for the production of fuel elements, as well as for the production of biologically compatible prosthesis of osseous tissue in medicine. In the aerospace industry, substitution of the expensive cellular constructions for the aluminum foam boards can substantially curtail the cost of production. Tests carried out in the framework of the EU CREATING project revealed a suitability of the aluminum foam for the construction of cargo ships, which will be able to furrow the Arctic seas and withstand multiple collisions with small icebergs.