Metal coating of ceramic microspheres: A new precursor for realising metal-based syntactic foams

Conference Dates

March 26-31, 2017


Coating of cenospheres (CS) with thin layers of metal – namely Cu and stainless steel 316 (Me@CS) - by means of vibration-assisted Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), particularly by magnetron sputtering, yields a starting material with considerable potential for production of new types of metal matrix syntactic foams (SF) as well as optimized variants of conventional materials of this kind. The present study introduces the coating process and the production of samples via spark plasma sintering (SPS). The influence of processing parameters on the coating itself and the syntactic foams obtained are discussed in terms of density levels as a function of sintering temperature and surface appearance before and after sintering. Cylindrical samples are subjected to conductivity measurements and mechanical tests and first performance characteristics are reported. The observed compressive strengths for Cu-based materials in a density range of 0.87-1.28 g/cm3 is found to lie between 8 and 30 MPa, depending on sintering conditions. For the 316 steel based materials in a density range of 1.10-1.90 g/cm3 the compressive strengths is found to lie between 35 and 55 MPa, depending on sintering conditions. In this study, as hollow ceramic microspheres, cenospheres with a chemical composition of 53.8±0.5 wt.-% SiO2, 40.7±0.7 wt.-% Al2O3, 1.4±0.2 wt.-% CaO and 1.0±0.2 wt.-% Fe2O3, plus smaller amounts (below 1 wt.-%) of MgO, Na2O and K2O were used.

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