Garcia-Moreno, F.; Kamm, P.H.; Neu, T.R.; Bülk, F.; Mokso, R.; Schlepütz, C.M.; Stampanoni, M.; Banhart, J.: Using X-ray tomoscopy to explore the dynamics of foaming metal. Nature Communications 10 (2019), p. 3762/1-9
Open Accesn Version

The complex flow of liquid metal in evolving metallic foams is still poorly understood due to difficulties in studying hot and opaque systems. We apply X-ray tomoscopy –the continuous acquisition of tomographic (3D) images– to clarify key dynamic phenomena in liquid aluminium foam such as nucleation and growth, bubble rearrangements, liquid retraction, coalescence and the rupture of films. Each phenomenon takes place on a typical timescale which we cover by obtaining 208 full tomograms per second over a period of up to one minute. An additional data processing algorithm provides information on the 1ms scale. Here we show that bubble coalescence is not only caused by gravity-induced drainage, as experiments under weightlessness show, and by stresses caused by foam growth, but also by local pressure peaks caused by the blowing agent. Moreover, details of foam expansion and phenomena such as rupture cascades and film thinning before rupture are quantified. These findings allow us to propose a way to obtain foams with smaller and more equally sized bubbles. OPEN