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Foam stuctures have been known to be excellent energy absorbers. In particular, open cell foams have very high specific energy absorption and a near complete utilization of the crush distance without excessive load build-up. Typically, the foam cell walls crush progressively and absorb the impact energy. However, many factors, such as prohibitive manufacturing cost, slow production rates, directional sensitivity, assembly difficulties and lack of structural rigidity to support the adjacent components have limited the use of such foams in the automotive industry.

“Open cell” metal foam structure under a microscope
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