About this Research Topic
3D lightweight porous materials/structures such as aerogels, foams, and micro/nanolattices have received considerable attention since they can impart remarkably improved material properties such as low density, high mechanical strength, and adjustable surface functionality compared to their bulk counterparts, inspiring the development of structuring technologies for next-generation construction, automotive, aerospace, and medical applications. Advanced fabrication strategies such as bio-inspired processing techniques or additive manufacturing have established the feasibility of realizing porous structures across multiple length-scales. Advances in tomographic techniques, predominantly micro-CT, have provided valuable new insights into the multiscale structures of porous materials and have facilitated the establishment of structure-property relationships necessary for porous materials design. Thus, advanced techniques used for the fabrication and characterization of 3D lightweight materials with well-controlled porous structures can further endow them with novel properties and broadening their applicability.
Over the past several decades, many efforts have been devoted to creating 3D lightweight porous structures consisting of ceramic, metal, polymer, or carbon materials. These materials are categorized into open- or closed-cellular structures according to the structural interconnectivity of internal pores. Also, they can be divided into periodic or stochastic foam structures depending on the randomness of the internal pores. Recent advances in novel chemical synthesis strategies and advanced fabrication techniques have prompted the emergence of architected materials comprising hierarchical porosity features and exhibiting combinations of superior mechanical and functional properties. We aim to bring together the latest ideas in the field of 3D lightweight porous materials to highlight promising trends in design, synthesis, manufacturing, characterization, and applications. We strive to achieve the co-existence of traditional structural materials and cutting-edge materials, basic theories and engineering applications, the integration of nano-micro porous structures and macro-geometric architectures, and the collision of interdisciplinary including chemistry, materials science, mechanics, and mechanical engineering.
The scope of this Research Topic covers advances in structural design, modeling and simulations, chemical synthesis, advanced manufacturing, advanced characterization technology, structural, functional, and smart applications of 3D lightweight porous materials/structures. Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, and Perspectives are welcomed. The specific sub-topics include but are not limited to:
• Aerogels, Foams, Micro-/nanolattices
• Compositions including (bio)polymer, metal, ceramic, carbon, and composites
• From open-/closed-cellular structures to periodic/stochastic foam structures
• From chemical synthesis to advanced manufacturing
• Bio-inspired processing techniques
• From numerical analysis to mechanical behaviors
• Functional and smart applications
Keywords: Aerogels, Micro-/nanolattices, Lightweight porous materials, Modeling and simulations, Bio-inspired process, Additive manufacturing, Structure and functions
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