Cast Magnesium Foam for Energy Absorption and Bone Regrowth

Hannah Ullberg, “Cast Magnesium Foam for Energy Absorption and Bone Regrowth”
Mentor: Pradeep Rohatgi, Materials Science & Engineering

In this work, a critical review of the casting of magnesium foams for energy absorption and biomedical applications is presented. Pressure infiltration for synthesis of close cell cast magnesium syntactic foams incorporating hollow alumina microballoons has been described along with microstructural and mechanical analysis. Additionally, in this paper a case study of a novel, low-cost pressure infiltration and investment casting technique for synthesis of open cell magnesium foams for use as bone cell regrowth scaffolds. Finite element analysis simulations were performed for foam compression. A simulated foam compressed 0.23mm under loading that cortical bone can withstand, 150MPa. The experimental and simulated results show that a low-cost magnesium foam can be cast using pressure infiltration with a controlled porosity and strength for use in energy absorption or bone regrowth.


  1. My name is Hannah Ullberg and I am a senior in the Materials Science and Engineering department. I have been working on the magnesium foams project since the summer of 2019 in Professor Rohatgi’s Center for Advanced Materials Manufacturing. If you have any questions, please comment here and I will answer them. Thank you for viewing my presentation.

  2. Thank you, Hannah! This is a very thorough and clear presentation. Well done! I was particularly interested in the possible applications of cast magnesium foam for bone regrowth – very interesting! Is this a possible application that can be tested in collaboration with the biology department or another unit on campus? Great job!

    1. It is the goal to collaborate with the biology department as soon as it is safe to do so. We will test the ability of the magnesium foams to allow for bone cell growth on its surface as well as the corrosion rate of the magnesium in human body conditions.

  3. As someone who has a prosthetic hip, I have to say I found this work fascinating. To be able to create a lighter-weight foam with the strength properties you describe is pretty exciting. I could absolutely see how something like this could work well as a scaffold upon which bone could grow. Well done!!

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