Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Paul G Sanders


Gasarite structures are a unique type of metallic foam containing tubular pores. The original methods for their production limited them to laboratory study despite appealing foam properties. Thermal decomposition processing of gasarites holds the potential to increase the application of gasarite foams in engineering design by removing several barriers to their industrial scale production. The following study characterized thermal decomposition gasarite processing both experimentally and theoretically. It was found that significant variation was inherent to this process therefore several modifications were necessary to produce gasarites using this method. Conventional means to increase porosity and enhance pore morphology were studied. Pore morphology was determined to be more easily replicated if pores were stabilized by alumina additions and powders were dispersed evenly. In order to better characterize processing, high temperature and high ramp rate thermal decomposition data were gathered. It was found that the high ramp rate thermal decomposition behavior of several hydrides was more rapid than hydride kinetics at low ramp rates. This data was then used to estimate the contribution of several pore formation mechanisms to the development of pore structure. It was found that gas-metal eutectic growth can only be a viable pore formation mode if non-equilibrium conditions persist. Bubble capture cannot be a dominant pore growth mode due to high bubble terminal velocities. Direct gas evolution appears to be the most likely pore formation mode due to high gas evolution rate from the decomposing particulate and microstructural pore growth trends. The overall process was evaluated for its economic viability. It was found that thermal decomposition has potential for industrialization, but further refinements are necessary in order for the process to be viable.