New Aluminum “Foam” Makes Trains Stronger, Lighter, Safer

New Aluminum FoamTrains made of aluminum foam, a material that’s stronger, lighter, and better in a crash than fiberglass or regular old metal.  Engineers in Chemitz, Germany unveiled a prototype high-speed train cab made with the stuff earlier this year. The composite material is built like a sandwich. Between two pieces of aluminum, each just two millimeters thick, is a 25-millimeter-thick layer of the “foam,” actually a low-density, sponge-like composite of magnesium, silicon, copper and aluminum. And like a good sandwich, there’s no glue. The layers are held together by metallic bonding, the electrostatic attraction of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions.

To read the complete article go to: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/aluminum-foam-trains/

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