Customisable sound absorption properties of functionally graded metallic foams

Jun Wei Chua, Xinwei Li, Tao Li, Beng Wah Chua, Xiang Yu, Wei Zhai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, functionally graded foam made of Inconel 625 superalloy was successfully produced using the template replication method, with open-cell polyurethane foams as a precursor. The products have a similar pore morphology as the templates and adjacent layers were successfully sintered together by particle bonding. Sound absorption experiments on graded metallic foams reveal that the sound absorption at particular frequency ranges can be improved by various permutations of foam layers. For graded foam of two distinct pore sizes, a mathematical equation was proposed to predict the location of the intersection point of the sound absorption curves, thereby aiding in graded foam design. An increase in sound absorption coefficients by resonance-like effects can be introduced before the intersection points by placing the foam layer of smaller pore size nearer to the sound source. The sound absorption performances can be further customized when the thickness proportion of the pore sizes is changed and when the number of distinct pore sizes used is increased. The sound absorption performance at lower frequencies is generally boosted by resonance-like effects when the layer of foam with the largest pore size is placed furthest from the sound source. Given the same composition of foam with a fixed thickness proportion of pore sizes, one can introduce resonance-like effects to improve the sound absorption performance compared to other permutations while possibly satisfying weight requirements in practical applications. This study provides valuable insights and mathematical guidelines in the design and manufacturing of functionally graded metallic foam for specific applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Composite metal foam
  • Functionally graded foam
  • Sound absorption
  • Template replication method
  • Transfer matrix method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Customisable sound absorption properties of functionally graded metallic foams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this