Auto safety: Aluminum with bubbles for cars that go boom.
By Harald FranzenPosted 03.27.2002 at 12:20 pm 0 Comments
It looks like a silver Rice Krispies treat, but biting into it is not advised. It's actually a superstrong lightweight material called stabilized aluminum foam, and one day it might save your life.
The foam's high strength-to-weight ratio and its ability to withstand powerful impacts make it an ideal material for an automobile's crash box—the part of a car's front end that absorbs the blow during a collision. Tests by MIT's Impact and Crashworthiness Lab have shown that the foam boosts the impact-absorbing ability of automotive parts as much as 600 percent.