The present study investigates the mechanical performance of syntactic foams produced by means of the metal powder injection molding process having an Invar (FeNi36) matrix and including cenospheres as hollow particles at weight fractions (wt.%) of 5 and 10, respectively, corresponding to approximately 41.6 and 60.0 vol.% in relation to the metal content and at 0.6 g/cm3
hollow particle density. The synthesis process results in survival of cenospheres and provides low density syntactic foams. The microstructure of the materials is investigated as well as the mechanical performance under quasi-static and high strain rate compressive loads. The compressive stress-strain curves of syntactic foams reveal a continuous strain hardening behavior in the plastic region, followed by a densification region. The results reveal a strain rate sensitivity in cenosphere-based Invar matrix syntactic foams. Differences in properties between cenosphere- and glass microsphere-based materials are discussed in relation to the findings of microstructural investigations. Cenospheres present a viable choice as filler material in iron-based syntactic foams due to their higher thermal stability compared to glass microspheres.
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