New material combines best qualities of copper and metal foam

A novel copper foam said to combine the outstanding thermal conductivity of copper with the structural benefits of a metal foam is now available from Huntingdon based manufacturer Goodfellow.

The new material is described as having a high strength to weight ratio, as well as a high surface area to volume ratio. Featuring isotropic load response and controlled stress-strain characteristics, it can also be brazed, coated and plated. "It's a true skeletal structure - not a sintered, coated, or plated product - and its purity is typically that of the parent alloy metal, with no voids, inclusions or entrapments," said the company in a statement. "The matrix of cells and ligaments is completely repeatable, regular and uniform throughout the material, yielding a rigid, highly porous and permeable structure with a controlled density of metal per unit volume." The copper foam is available in standard pore sizes of 5, 10, 20 and 40 pores per inch, with a density range of 3 to 12%. Goodfellow says it can, however, be compressed to achieve higher densities (up to 70%) and smaller pore sizes (up to 500 pores per inch).