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A New Foamy Invention

Afsaneh Rabiei, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at
North Carolina State University, has invented a space-age material so light and
strong that it could revolutionize everything from vehicle bumpers to armor to
biomedical devices.  A brand new material that can save energy and lives.

“Basically, it is a new material for all sorts of safety devices,” said Rabiei
Her invention isn’t the first metal foam, but she says it’s the strongest. The main weakness of
existing metal foams is the varying sizes of their cells – tiny pockets
of space inside the material. Instead, Rabiei used cells of standard sizes and
combined them with a metallic matrix to support the cell walls.

The National Science Foundation awarded her a CAREER award in 2003, and her goal
with the funding was to develop a light, strong material that could be used saving
lives and energy in the aerospace, medical, automotive and other industries

After five years of work – with a group of her students – she has the results.
With a car going approx. 28 mph, her metal foam absorbs the impact which
feels like an impact at 5 mph. Probably not for the folks inside the car but
the end result is what the experiment showed.

The steel of a bumper is 3 times heavier than the steel foam.  The automotive
industry should take a hard look at this invention.  Not only does it improve
safety but gas mileage as well due to the lightness of steel foam.

Rabiei sees plenty of uses for her invention, including in airplanes, boats, and structures that
need impact protection with maintaining low weight. It’s this high strength-to-density ratio –
defining a material that’s both strong and light – that
makes Rabiei’s foam unique.

Do you hear a standing ovation from me?  This kind of news is exciting!

*  Congratulations, Professor Rabiei!

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No Responses to “A New Foamy Invention”

  1. Greener Pastures Says:

    wow- this is very exciting – what a find – hopefully it will be utilized. It reminds me of the Ayn Rand book- Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead? In which a guy named Rourke developed this phenomenal new alloy metal for buildings, only to have it squashed by big business.

    I think I’m sounding cynical tonight.

    Thanks for a very interesting find. stumbling

    Greener Pasturess last blog post..10 More Money Saving Websites With Ongoing Big Fat Deals

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Lisa … You know, I would normally agree with you but with the internet and other publishing means it would be hard to squash anything right now. The people are mad and are not going to take it anymore!!! 😉

  3. Barbara Says:

    Wow Linda..This is great news. I hope it becomes available sometime soon. That would be wonderful!

    Barbaras last blog post..More Incredible News About Dome Homes !

  4. wilson Says:

    I heard this metal foam before, but I haven’t seem it closer in personal…

    By the way, great news as usual, Linda 😉

    wilsons last blog post..The Advices Will Make You Feel Good!


    Feel warm Welcome to my Tuesday Blog-party,Take some of your friends with you… the rules are simple…I don’t take NO for an answer…more about it you can find

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  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Barbara … do not know when it will be available but I hope it is soon.

    Hi Wilson … Neat isn’t it?

    Hi Fancy … Thanks for the invite!

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