A new forming method for open-cell aluminum (Al) foams by laser was introduced. Laser forming is generally applied to sheet metals but a good formability was observed also for Al alloy cellular structures. In this study, laser bending tests were performed on rectangular samples made of open-cell Al alloy foams by means of a diode laser. Laser scan velocity and power were changed in the experimentation so as to identify the best process conditions for three different Al foams. A finite element model was implemented to simulate the laser-material interaction during forming in dependence of the foam structure. At fixed values of laser velocity and power, higher bending angles were obtained for foams with smaller pores but, changing the process parameters, a better formability was observed for the foams with bigger pores.

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