Bonding Low-density Nanoporous Metal Foams Using Sputtered Solder

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A method has been developed for bonding low-density nanoporous metal foam components to a substrate using solder that is sputtered onto the surfaces. Metal foams have unusual properties that make them excellent choices for many applications, and as technologies for processing these materials are evolving, their use in industry is increasing dramatically. Metal foams are lightweight and have advantageous dynamic properties, which make them excellent choices for many structural applications. They also provide good acoustic damping, low thermal conductivity, and excellent energy absorption characteristics. Therefore, these materials are commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, construction, and biomedical industries. The synthesis ... continued below

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Bono, M; Cervantes, O; Akaba, C; Hamza, A; Foreman, R & Teslich, N August 21, 2007.

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A method has been developed for bonding low-density nanoporous metal foam components to a substrate using solder that is sputtered onto the surfaces. Metal foams have unusual properties that make them excellent choices for many applications, and as technologies for processing these materials are evolving, their use in industry is increasing dramatically. Metal foams are lightweight and have advantageous dynamic properties, which make them excellent choices for many structural applications. They also provide good acoustic damping, low thermal conductivity, and excellent energy absorption characteristics. Therefore, these materials are commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, construction, and biomedical industries. The synthesis of nanoporous metal foams with a cell size of less then 1 {micro}m is an emerging technology that is expected to lead to widespread application of metal foams in microdevices, such as sensors and actuators. One of the challenges to manufacturing components from metal foams is that they can be difficult to attach to other structures without degrading their properties. For example, traditional liquid adhesives cannot be used because they are absorbed into foams. The problem of bonding or joining can be particularly difficult for small-scale devices made from nanoporous foam, due to the requirement for a thin bond layer. The current study addresses this problem and develops a method of soldering a nanoporous metal foam to a substrate with a bond thickness of less than 2 {micro}m. There are many applications that require micro-scale metal foams precisely bonded to substrates. This study was motivated by a physics experiment that used a laser to drive a shock wave through an aluminum foil and into a copper foam, in order to determine the speed of the shock in the copper foam. To avoid disturbing the shock, the interface between the copper foam and the aluminum substrate had to be as thin as possible. There are many other applications that could benefit from the bonding technology developed in this study, such as small-scale lightweight structural members, high-strength thermal insulating layers for electronics, and micro-scale mechanical dampers, to name but a few. Each of these applications requires one or more small metal foam components precisely bonded to a substrate. Several methods for bonding metal foam components have been developed by previous researchers. Macroscopic metal foam parts have been successfully bonded by laser welding to create T-sections and butt joints. Ultrasonic welding has been used to join aluminum sheet metal to aluminum foam for structural applications. These methods work well for bonding large foam components, but reducing these methods to a smaller length scale would be challenging. One method that has shown great potential for bonding layers of metal foams to substrates is a brazing process that uses a sputter-deposited interface material. Shirzadi et al.[9] have demonstrated bonds between stainless steel foam and a stainless steel substrate using a layer of copper-titanium filler metal that is sputtered onto the interface surfaces. The foam pieces that they bonded were approximately 10 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick with a cell size of approximately 200 {micro}m. After depositing the filler material, pressing the materials together, and heating them with an induction heater, bonds were achieved without causing significant damage to the foam. The current study also uses a sputter-deposited interface material to bond foam to a substrate. However, in contrast to previous work, the current study examines bonding microscale pieces of fragile nanoporous metal foam. In this study, a method is developed to bond a thin sheet of fragile, low-density nanoporous copper foam to an aluminum foil substrate of thickness 40 {micro}m. By sputter depositing an indium-silver alloy onto the foam and the substrate, a solder joint with a thickness of less than 2 {micro}m was achieved.

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PDF-file: 11 pages; size: 0.5 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Advanced Engineering Materials, vol. 10, N/A, February 1, 2008, pp. 51-55; Journal Volume: 10

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-234532
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928530
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902331

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 21, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 8:43 p.m.

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Bono, M; Cervantes, O; Akaba, C; Hamza, A; Foreman, R & Teslich, N. Bonding Low-density Nanoporous Metal Foams Using Sputtered Solder, article, August 21, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902331/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.