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Solid-state diffusion bonding of closed-cell aluminum foams
K. Kitazono a,*, A. Kitajima b, E. Sato a, J. Matsushita b, K. Kuribayashi a
The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, 3 -1 -1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229 -8510, Japan Department of Applied Chemistry, Tokai Uni6ersity, 1117 Kitakaname, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa 259 -1292, Japan Received 17 May 2001; received in revised form 28 June 2001
Abstract Solid-state diffusion bonding (DB) was demonstrated for joining closed-cell aluminum foams (ALPORAS). A superplastic 5083 aluminum alloy sheet was inserted between the foams to assist the DB process. Microscopic observation revealed that the cell wall of the foams penetrated into the 5083 alloy sheet and their boundary partly disappeared. Energy dispersion X-ray spectrometer (EDS) conﬁrmed the diffusion of magnesium element from the 5083 alloy to the aluminum foam regions. The bonding strength was evaluated by four-points bending tests. The obtained ﬂexure stress was about 50% of the original foam at room temperature and was more than 60% at 423 K. The advantage of the DB process in the high temperature applications was discussed comparing with the adhesive bonding of aluminum foams. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Aluminum foam; 5083 Al–Mg alloy; Superplasticity; Diffusion bonding; Bending test
1. Introduction Foamed materials have many attractive properties because of their light weight and cell structure. The advantages of metal foams over the conventional polymer foams are the high melting temperature and the large compressive strength. The manufacturing process of metal foams has been improved in the past few years; especially closed-cell aluminum and its alloy foams have been made by casting  and powder metallurgy processes . If we use metal foams in engineering structures, we must consider the methods of joining them to other materials. The most popular joining method of massive metals is welding. Welding process for metal foams, however, seems to have much difﬁculty because of the volume reduction during the solidiﬁcation of the melted cell structures. Bonding by adhesives or solders has been used in most metal honeycomb structures. In this case, the bonding strength of the adhesives dominates the mechanical properties of the honeycomb structures. Though the adhesive bonding process is superior for low temperature applica-
* Corresponding author. Tel.: + 81-42-759-8264; fax: +81-42-7598461. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (K. Kitazono).
tions, the expansion to high temperature region is limited. In the present study, solid-state diffusion bonding (DB) process is proposed and demonstrated experimentally against aluminum foams. The DB process is an attractive manufacturing method for joining dissimilar metals and for making the complex components . Unlike other joining processes, it preserves the base metal microstructure at the interface. The DB process generally requires large compressive stress to break up oxide layers and to contact the surfaces closely enough in the atomic scale. Metal foams, however, will easily deform plastically under such a large stress condition. Inserting a superplastic material  into the boundary will decrease the compressive stress necessary for DB process. Large plastic deformation due to the superplastic forming under relatively low stresses assists the oxide layers to break up and the surfaces to contact. This paper consists of the following. First, the DB condition is discussed based on the high temperature properties of aluminum foams and superplastic aluminum alloy. Second, the DB tests are performed under the estimated conditions. Finally, the results of the DB tests are discussed through microscopic observation and mechanical test. The bonded boundary is observed by optical microscope and analyzed by energy dispersion
0921-5093/02/$ - see front matter © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 2 1 - 5 0 9 3 ( 0 1 ) 0 1 7 6 6 - X
0.. a plateau region characterized by small slope appeared in the stress–strain curve. The temperature condition was maintained by an electric furnace at 773 and 823 K. The chemical composition was 1.7). 0. / Materials Science and Engineering A327 (2002) 128–132 129 X-ray spectrometer (EDS). it was not the ALPORAS foam. The compressive strength is observed as 0.% Mn. The DB process must of course be carried out in a high temperature condition. and the remaining of aluminum.13 wt. The relative density was about 0.1 mm min − 1.K. accompanied by a steep increase in stress. which was supplied from Sky Aluminum Co.1. Therefore. 0.4B mB 0. 1. ALPORAS foam was fabricated by casting process of pure aluminum with titanium hydride as the foaming agent and calcium to increase the viscosity of the melt. 3. the local stress can be estimated as 1/0. 1. 0. where the cell walls touch each other.04 wt. corresponds to the local stress of 1. a superplastic 5083 alloy sheet with a thickness of 1 mm. The stereological analysis of the dual phase material describes that the area fraction of the second phase is identical to the volume fraction of the second phase . Materials preparation Closed-cell aluminum foam (trade name ALPORAS [5.% Mg. . The following DB test must be carried out below these plateau stresses of ALPORAS foam to prevent the fracture of the cell structure. In the case of the ALPORAS foam.6]) was supplied from Shinko Wire Co. The plateau stresses were estimated as 0.% Ti.04 wt. We can obtain the uniaxial tensile creep data of the present 5083 alloy from ﬁgure 1 in the previous report . The precise superplastic properties were reported in Ref. For example. The crosshead speed is 0. the compression behavior of the ALPORAS foam at high temperature is necessary to estimate the DB condition. Bonding condition 3. 1 as nominal stress–strain curves. Therefore. High temperature property of ALPORAS foam 2.1 mm min − 1. Superplasticity has been reported in many types of aluminum alloys and composites. Results of uniaxial compression test of ALPORAS foam at 823 and 773 K. . The nominal composition was 4.% Si.% Ti. Estimation of DB condition When the external stress | ext is applied to the ALPORAS foam during the bonding test. The high value of m corresponds to an ideal superplastic condition. The sheet was manufactured by hot rolling and cold rolling followed by recrystallization treatment. which is smaller than the plateau stress. Uniaxial compression tests were performed in atmosphere using Shimadzu Autograph testing machine.22 MPa at 823 K. Though the creep behavior of aluminum foam was reported in Ref. The above estimation indicates that the external stress of 0. After the initial increase in stress.7 wt.8 MPa. the data of the mechanical property contain a more pronounced scatter than those of conventional massive metals or alloys.11 of | ext. which was calculated from the mass and the apparent volume.% Cr. because the cell wall only attaches to the 5083 alloy sheet. The cell structure of ALPORAS foam was almost equiaxial and the size was within 3– 6 mm in diameter.24 and 0.65 wt.2 MPa will give the ideal super- Fig.04 wt.11. which describes that the ﬂow stress of 1. the uniaxial external stress of 0. the magnitude of the local stress applied on the surface of the 5083 alloy sheet becomes much higher than | ext. Kitazono et al.% Fe. .8 MPa at 823 K yields high strain rate sensitivity (0.2 MPa. 0. respectively. the stress–strain curve gradually enters into the densiﬁcation region. The results of compression tests were plotted in Fig.2.% Ca and the remaining of aluminum. Two curves are similar to the deformation behavior of other closed-cell foams at room temperature . which corresponds to a creep condition. The bonding strength is examined by the four-points bending test 3. Since 5083 Al– Mg alloy [7–9] is a typical aluminum alloy showing superplasticity. Observation by optical microscope revealed that the alloy consisted of ﬁne equiaxial crystal grains with an average size of 12 mm. The displacement of the crosshead was used to determine the overall compressive strain and the displacement rate was held at 0.35 MPa at 773 K and 0. After the extended plateau region.61 wt. was chosen for the experiments .41 MPa at 823 and 773 K.03 wt.
This result indicates that Mg element diffused from 5083 alloy to ALPORAS foam regions. the electron beam with the accelerated voltage of 5 kV was irradiated to the specimen. a cross-section of the bonded interface was observed using a stereoscopic micrograph as shown in Fig. However. In the following section. which is somewhat different from the uniaxial tensile creep. The 5083 alloy sheet was inserted between two ALPORAS foams. Fig. The sheet was locally heated using a one-turn high-frequency induction coil.2 MPa. It was found that the cell wall penetrated to the 5083 alloy sheet and a part of their boundaries disappeared.% at 5083 alloy region and gradually decreased to zero in ALPORAS foam region. The temperature is measured through a spot-welded thermocouple onto the sheet. HCl: 3 ml. 4. Epoxy adhesive is mainly used in room temperature region and polyester in a slightly higher temperature region. We need the data of indentation creep of the inserted superplastic material for more precise estimation of the DB condition. After the temperature was raised to the experimental condition. Diffusion bonding 4. 10 mm width and 10 mm depth. The surfaces of the ALPORAS foams and 5083 alloy sheet were chemically polished by Keller solution (HF: 2 ml. plastic deformation of 5083 alloy. To examine the evidence of the mutual diffusion in detail.2. HNO3: 5 ml.8 wt. 3(b) shows an optical micrograph of the bonded interface. 2.130 K. 3(a). It was found that the 5083 alloy sheet plastically deformed at the interface and the cell shape of the ALPORAS foams was maintained as before except for at the bonding interface. On the other . it is noted that the deformation mode during the DB test is similar to indentation creep for 5083 alloy. Bonding strengths of the diffusion-bonded specimens were examined by four-points bending tests with a distance of 30 mm between supporting rods. 4. The original ALPORAS foam beaded without fracture. Rapid heating. After chemical polishing of the cross section. MPa was uniaxially applied to the ALPORAS foam for 30 min. / Materials Science and Engineering A327 (2002) 128–132 Fig. the specimen was machined to a rectangular plate with 38 mm length. the composition of Mg element in the area around the bonded interface was measured by an EDAX/EDS system attached on a scanning electron microscope. The inserted 5083 alloy sheet between the foams is locally heated by an induction coil.5 mm min − 1. the DB test is carried out under the condition of the external stress of 0.2 4. The arrows in the photograph indicate the boundary of two materials. The original ALPORAS foam does not contain Mg element. The mass fraction of Mg element obtained by EDAX standardless quantiﬁcation was plotted in Fig. 10 mm width and 4 mm height. The tests were performed in atmosphere under the conditions of room temperature (298 K) and high temperature (423 K). Schematic illustration of DB apparatus. was carried out in order to prevent the grain growth of 5083 alloy and the oxidation of the bonding surfaces. The 5083 alloy sheet was positioned at the center of the plate. These results suggested that the mutual diffusion was achieved between these materials. The temperature was measured and controlled by a spot-welded thermocouple onto the sheet. For comparison. a constant stress of 0. The adhesives used were commercial epoxy and polyester. the bending strength sharply dropped due to the collapse of the cell structure. The experimental apparatus is schematically illustrated in Fig.1.3. 5. similar bending tests were carried out using original ALPORAS foam and adhesive bonded ALPORAS foams. 2. Bonding strength Examples of the relation between the load and the ﬂexure at 298 K were shown in Fig. It was 5. 4. H2O: 190 ml) just before the experiment. After the maximum load. Kitazono et al. The shape of ALPORAS foams was rectangular with 20 mm height. Experimental procedure DB tests were carried out in atmosphere at 773 and 823 K. Microstructural obser6ation After the DB test. namely in 5 min up to the bonding temperature. The apparatus was set in Shimadzu Autograph testing machine and the plate was bent with the constant crosshead speed of 0. After DB test.
The effects of the bonding temperature did not appear in the present experimental results. / Materials Science and Engineering A327 (2002) 128–132 131 hand. Fig. (b) Optical micrograph around the diffusion-bonded boundary. Cell wall of ALPORAS foam penetrated into the 5083 alloy sheet. On the other hand. The ﬂexure stresses in various bending tests are shown in Fig. 3. especially adhesive-bonded specimens by epoxy could not maintain the bonding. the diffusion-bonded specimen at 773 K was broken at the bonded interface. The DB process of aluminum alloys without special techniques is essentially difﬁcult because of the insolu- . Relatively low strength was measured on the adhesivebonded specimens by polyester and two kinds of diffu- Fig. wh 2 (1) where P is the maximum applied load. the ﬂexure stress of original and adhesive bonded foams signiﬁcantly decreased. The ﬂexure strength was about a half of the original ALPORAS foam. w is the width of the specimen and h is the height of the specimen. The relative ﬂexure strength of the diffusion-bonded specimen was more than 60% of that of the original foam. L is the distance between the support rods. (a) Macroscopic photograph of the diffusion-bonded specimen after bonding test at 773 K for 30 min. At room temperature as shown in Fig. the ﬂexure stresses of the diffusion-bonded specimens were identical to those measured at room temperature. the ﬂexure stresses of the original ALPORAS foam and the adhesive-bonded foam by epoxy were almost identical. 6(b). which is calculated as |f = PL . Kitazono et al. 6(a).5 mm min − 1. Typical result of four-points bending test at room temperature. Composition of Mg element measured by EDAX/EDS system. 5. Bending strength was quantitatively evaluated by the maximum ﬂexure stress |f. Mg element diffused from 5083 alloy to ALPORAS foam region in the bonding process at 773 K for 30 min. In the case of high temperature bending test at 423 K as shown in Fig. 4. but did not reach the original strength.K. 6. sion-bonded specimens at 773 and 823 K. Original ALPORAS foam was plastically deformed without fracture and the diffusion-bonded specimen was fractured at the bonded boundary. Fig. The uniaxial load was applied with the constant speed of 0.
H. Trans.F. / Materials Science and Engineering A327 (2002) 128–132 tures.  R. et al. We can conclude that the present demonstration of the superplastic DB process is easily expanded to other foamed materials. Kokawa. Metall. Kuwana.J. adhesive bonding process has been widely used for joining metal foams to make sandwich struc- . and Sky Aluminum Co. A. K. Korner. T. Tagata. 35 (1995) 1291. Results of four-points bending tests at 298 K (a) and 423 K (b). The maximum ﬂexure stress of diffusion-bonded specimen was half of the ALPORAS foam. 2 (2000) 179. Akiyama.  A. ¨ Mater. The advanced DB process in aluminum alloy requires the removal of oxide layer followed by the protection of the surface by coating techniques. EDS analysis showed Mg diffusion from the 5083 alloy to the ALPORAS foam. Hamilton. L. 27A (1996) 1889. 4713277 (1987). in: Proceedings of the International Conference on Superplasticity and Superplastic Forming. Gao.P. Trans. Arnold. Johnson.  H.  H. diffusion-bonded and adhesive-bonded specimens.W. C.132 K. Higashi. 5.  J. References Fig. 47 (1999) 2853.W. ISIJ Int.  F. United States Patent No.  T.J. Berger. C. 29A (1998) 2497. the diffusion bonded specimen showed null decrease of the bending strength. 6. Maximum ﬂexure stresses are plotted for ALPORAS foam. Stadelmann. Though the adhesive bonded ALPORAS foam showed signiﬁcant drops of ﬂexure stress. Eng. J.  P.. Ghosh. Zhu. Flexure strength was evaluated by four-points bending test. Kannan.  K. Friedman. S. Acta Mater. Adv. A252 (1998) 199. TMS.  E. Ashby. Tech. for providing the materials. The obtained bonding strength will be improved by controlling the surfaces and atmosphere conditions to minimize the stable oxide layer at the surfaces of ALPORAS foams and 5083 alloy sheet. Simone.E. 491. Gibson. M. T. One report described that the relative strength of diffusion-bonded aluminum alloy was 50% of that of the original material . Metall. Singer. Melton. A.F. Sci. Prog. K.H. Z. Sci. Winkler. T. The present experimental result agrees well with the previous report. Kim. Akiyama. H. C. Acta Mater. P. 46 (1998) 3109. Commercial superplastic 5083 aluminum alloy sheet was inserted between the foams to assist the DB process. Andrews. Summary Until now. Iwasaki. Mater. Mater. Verma. Gibson. In the present paper. Kitazono et al. Hosokawa. T. This result indicates that DB is effective at high temperature condition.K. Acknowledgements This work was partially funded by Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology. Cutler. Trans. 29A (1998) 1211. Edington. Kitahara. 1988. The authors thank Shinko Wire Co. Kim. Eng. p. Metall. The epoxy adhesive could not maintain the bonding at 423 K. S.A. M. L. Sci.  ASTM E 1245 (1995). Mori. the DB process was ﬁrst demonstrated using the closed-cell aluminum foam (ALPORAS).-J. M.N.  C. R. Ito. C. Miyoshi. F. 16 (2000) 781. C. 21 (1976) 61 overview. ble oxide layer. Han.  S. Mater. Tsuzuki.
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