Experimental and numerical thermal analysis of open-cell metal foams developed through a topological optimization and 3D printing process
European Physical Journal Applied Physics
This study focuses on the thermal analysis and comparing a lattice model and an optimized model of open-cell metal foams manufactured thanks to a metal casting process. The topological optimization defines the complex geometry through thermal criteria and a plaster mold reproduces it in 3D printing to be used in casting. The study of the thermal behavior conducted on the two open foam metal structures is performed based on several measurements, as well as numerical simulations. It is observed that the optimized metal foam presented less and non-homogenous local temperature than the lattice model with the gap of about 10 °C between both models. The pore size and porosity significantly affect the heat transfer through the metal foam. The comparison between numerical simulations and experimental results regarding the temperature fields shows a good agreement allowing the validation of the developed three-dimensional model based on the finite element method.