Periodic cellular metals with honeycomb and corrugated topologies are widely used for the cores of light weight sandwich panel structures. Honeycombs have closed cell pores and are well suited for thermal protection while also providing efficient load support. Corrugated core structures provide less efficient and highly anisotropic load support, but enable cross flow heat exchange opportunities because their pores are continuous in one direction. Recent advances in topology design and fabrication have led to the emergence of lattice truss structures with open cell structures. These three classes of periodic cellular metals can now be fabricated from a wide variety of structural alloys. Many topologies are found to provide adequate stiffness and strength for structural load support when configured as the cores of sandwich panels. Sandwich panels with core relative densities of 2–10% and cell sizes in the millimetre range are being assessed for use as multifunctional structures. The open, three-dimensional interconnected pore networks of lattice truss topologies provide opportunities for simultaneously supporting high stresses while also enabling cross flow heat exchange. These highly compressible structures also provide opportunities for the mitigation of high intensity dynamic loads created by impacts and shock waves in air or water. By filling the voids with polymers and hard ceramics, these structures have also been found to offer significant resistance to penetration by projectiles.
One contribution of 18 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Engineered foams and porous materials’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society