Cellular metals are unique multifunctional materials. They combine high specific strength, versatile thermal properties, structural and acoustic damping with the ability to absorb large amounts of energy. Accordingly, they are envisioned for use in a wide range of applications such as compact heat exchangers, core materials in sandwich panels or crash elements in modern cars. Major challenges that so far inhibit their large scale application are high cost and the scattering of mechanical properties. These shortcomings are now addressed with the design of novel Pelite Metal Composites (PMCs).
Perlite metal composites are superior cellular metals that revolutionize impact protection. This innovative material combines a high performance aluminium alloy with volcanic perlite towards a cost-effective composite with reliable mechanical properties. The material has the potential to become the ‘metallic styrofoam’ and successfully compete within an extensive international market. Using exclusively Australian raw materials it gives important stimulus to the Australian mining and metal industry. Dr Fiedler reserach includes the full geometrical, mechanical and thermal characterization of this innovative material.