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Enhanced Aluminium Foam Based Cylindrical Sandwiches: Bending Behaviour and Numerical Modeling

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Closed-cell aluminium foams are a relatively new class of structural and functional materials that have attracted increasing attention, for which they are candidate materials in many applications of several industrial fields. One of the aims of the research can be the improvement of the mechanical behaviour of foam-based structures by means of reinforcements that preserve their peculiar property of lightness. In view of this challenge, the present paper describes the production, the mechanical characterization and the numerical modelling of enhanced aluminium foam samples. More specifically, cylindrical sandwiches, characterized by a closed-cell aluminium foam core reinforced with a skin of lightweight aluminium alloy wire mesh embedded into a matrix of low porosity foam, were produced in a one step process; therefore, mechanical three point bending tests were carried out, in order to compare the properties of these innovative sandwiches with plain foam cylinders. The results of the experimental campaign highlight a significant improvement of the mechanical properties of the samples, when so reinforced. Moreover, a FEM numerical model of the cylindrical sandwiches was developed and validated, by comparing the simulations with the results of the experimental tests.
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Aluminium Foam; Reinforced Wire Mesh; Cylindrical Sandwiches; Bending Test; FEM Modeling

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