Metallic foams typically retain some physical properties of their base material. Foam made from non-flammable metal will remain non-flammable and the foam is generally recyclable back to its base material. Coefficient of thermal expansion will also remain similar while conductivity will likely be reduced.
Extremely fine-scale open-cell foams, with cells too small to be visible to the naked eye, are used as high-temperature filters in the chemical industry. Manufacturers include Inco Ltd (trade name Incofoam).
Closed-cell metal foams are primarily used as an impact-absorbing material, similarly to the polymer foams in a bicycle helmet but for higher impact loads. Unlike many polymer foams, metal foams remain deformed after impact, and can therefore only be used once. They are light (typically 10-25% of the density of the metal they are made of, which is usually aluminum) and stiff, and are frequently proposed as a lightweight structural material. However, they have not yet been widely used for this purpose. They are currently manufactured by Cymat Corporation (Canada), the Shinko Wire Company (Japan) and Alcoa (USA).
Closed-cell foams retain the fire resistant and recycling capability of other metallic foams but add an ability to float in water (for densities less than 1g/cc).
Foam metal has also begun being used as a expermental prosthetic in animals.Where a hole is drilled into the bone and the metal foam inserted leting the bone grow into the metal for a perment connection. Most notable example is a Siberian Husky named Triumph where both back legs have prosthetics of foam metal done by Dr. Robert Taylor.
Providing design freedom for exterior wall construction in both new and retrofit applications, Formawall[R] Dimension Series[R] Factory Foamed Metal Panels.(The Guide)
Feb 01, 2004; Providing design freedom for exterior wall construction in both new and retrofit applications, Formawall[R] Dimension Series[R]...
Foamed metal oxides make for higher activity. (Innovation: Catalysis).(foamed vanadium pentoxide catalyst)(Brief Article)
May 01, 2002; Researchers from the Universite Paris say they have developed a simple method to make a foamed form of vanadium pentoxide that...