Home - Project Information 

+ Sanjay Arwade and Nima Rahbar perform drop impact tests on hollow sphere foam at WPI (April 2015)
+ Stefan Szyniszewski accepts faculty position at the Univ. of Surrey (UK).
+ May/June 2012: Advisory board meets to discuss project progress and plan future activities..
+ May 2012: Shear testing and preliminary connection testing of hollow sphere foam:
+ April 2012: Brooks Smith defends master's thesis at UMass, available as a technical report. Brooks accepts position at WDP and Assoc.
+ April 2012: Project team makes presentations at Structural Stability Research Council meeting. See publications section for details.
+ Feb 2012: PCM type steel foam from MER corp tested. High strength observed

+ New technical report added on the connection between ligament mechanics and effective foam material properties
+December 2011: Steel foam review article appears in Journal of Constructional steel research (pdf)
+November 2011: New steel foam received from MER Corp in Tucson, courtesy Dr. Raouf Loutfy, testing to begin soon.
+October 2011: New technical reports added on metal foam commercialization and Brooks Smith's MS thesis proposal.
+September 2011: Brooks Smith presents paper at METFOAM 2011 in Busan, South Korea.
+July, August 2011: More material testing including compression with unloading and tension.

IMG_2291 IMG_2308 Testing - 2011-08-03T15:07:00 - 051 Testing - 2011-08-05T16:53:58 - 082
photo details
modulus_comp comp_unload comp_poiss tens
results details
+June 2011: Compression tests out to full densification result in full compressive characterization of the the material

+May 2011: Project team makes three presentations at ASCE/EMI Engineering Mechanics Conference, Boston (See publications at right for pdfs)
+ May 2011: Brooks Smith, Sanjay Arwade, and Marc Fernandez perform the project's first compression tests on our hollow sphere foam.

Testing - 2011-06-16T11:07:40 - 246

+ News archive

Project Abstract
The research objectives of this award are to characterize the mechanical properties of novel steel foams and determine whether this new class of materials presents opportunities for transformative improvement of the performance of civil structures.  Although other kinds of metal foams serve well established purposes in the aerospace and automotive industries, the advent of manufacturing techniques for steel foams opens the door to low cost mass production of a material suitable for civil structural application.  The research program consists of experiments to characterize the structure and mechanical properties of the material and simulations to establish proof-of-concept applications of steel foams to civil structures.  The target applications are energy dissipating devices to improve seismic performance of building systems and selective application of steel foam to improve the strength and ductility of thin-walled steel structural members.

Steel foam bibliography

+ General metal foam sources
Manufacturing processes
Material properties and modeling
+Full pdf file