Study on aluminium-based single films†
In the present paper the authors studied isolated metallic films made from the same material used for making metallic foams, and then characterised their properties. Metal films were made from a liquid aluminium alloy reinforced with ceramic particles of known concentration. Melts without such particles were also investigated. It is shown that stable films could not be made from Al–Si alloy having no particles, and just extremely thin and fragile films could be made from commercially-pure Al. In contrast, aluminium alloys containing particles such as SiC and TiB2 allowed pulling thin, stable films, which did not rupture. Significant thinning of films was observed when the particle concentration in the melt decreased. By in situ X-ray monitoring of liquid films during pulling, film thickness and drainage effects within the liquid film could be studied. The morphology and microstructure of films was characterised after solidification. Our work shows that the question of how foams are stabilised can be studied using a simplified system such as a film, instead of having to deal with the multitude of different structural elements present in a foam.