Researchers from the Masdar Institute have leveraged the unique capabilities of additive manufacturing – or 3-dimensional (3D) printing – to design strong, ultra-lightweight ‘architectured foam’ structures that have the potential to make vehicle bodies much lighter and stronger and improve water production and oil and gas operations.
The novel foams can be 3D printed with various materials such as plastics, metals, ceramics, and composite materials to enhance the thermal, electrical and mechanical properties of various engineering systems, including aerospace and automotive structural components. They can be used anywhere there is a need for very strong, lightweight and conductive materials, such as in the aerospace and defense industries, or they can be used in applications that require highly conductive or porous materials, such as the energy, water and medical industries.
“The foam structures have the potential to become a platform technology, driving innovations across key industries and markets,” said Masdar Institute’s Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research. “This project demonstrates how Masdar Institute’s strong advanced materials research capabilities support disruptive technology-based innovations in the Institute’s core research areas of water and energy while benefiting other sectors of importance to the UAE.”