Fabrication of metallic foams by sintering metal powders mixed with thermally degradable compounds is of interest for numerous applications. Compounds releasing gaseous nitrogen, minimizing interactions between the formed gases and metallic foam by diluting other combustion products, were applied. Cysteine and phenylalanine, were used as gas releasing agents during the sintering of elemental Fe and Al powders in order to obtain metallic foams. Characterization was carried out by optical microscopy with image analysis, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, and gas permeability tests. Porosity of the foams was up to 42 ± 3% and 46 ± 2% for sintering conducted with 5 wt % cysteine and phenylalanine, respectively. Chemical analyses of the formed foams revealed that the oxygen content was below 0.14 wt % and the carbon content was below 0.3 wt %. Therefore, no brittle phases could be formed that would spoil the mechanical stability of the FeAl intermetallic foams. The gas permeability tests revealed that only the foams formed in the presence of cysteine have enough interconnections between the pores, thanks to the improved air flow through the porous materials. The foams formed with cysteine can be applied as filters and industrial catalysts.
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