J. Mater. Sci. Technol. ›› 2021, Vol. 74: 89-104.DOI: 10.1016/j.jmst.2020.10.007

• Invited Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent progress in porous intermetallics: Synthesis mechanism, pore structure, and material properties

Yao Jiang*(), Yuehui He, Haiyan Gao   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy, Central South University, Changsha, 410083, China
  • Received:2020-06-15 Revised:2020-08-13 Accepted:2020-09-04 Published:2021-05-30 Online:2020-10-18
  • Contact: Yao Jiang
  • About author:*E-mail address: jiangyao@csu.edu.cn (Y. Jiang).


Intermetallic compounds have the characteristics of long-range ordered structure and combination of metallic and covalent bonds, showing intrinsic brittleness and outstanding performance stability. The synthesis mechanism, pore structure characterization and material properties of powder metallurgy porous intermetallics are reviewed in this paper. Compared with traditional porous materials, porous intermetallics have good thermal impact resistance, machinability, thermal and electrical conductivity similar to metals, as well as good chemical corrosion resistance, rigidity and high-temperature property similar to ceramics. The mechanisms of preparation and pore formation of porous intermetallics mainly include four aspects: (1) the physical process based on the interstitial space between the initial particles and its evolution in the subsequent procedures; (2) the chemical combustion process based on the violent reaction between the initial powder components; (3) the reaction kinetics process based on the difference between the diffusion rates of elements; (4) the phase transition process based on the difference between the phase densities. The characterization parameters to the pore structure description for porous intermetallics include mainly overall porosity, open porosity, permeability, maximum pore size, pore size distribution and tortuosity factor. In terms of microstructure characterization of porous intermetallics, three-dimensional pore morphology scanning technology has the potential to reveal the internal characteristics of pore structures. The research on material properties of porous intermetallics mainly focuses on electrochemical catalytic activity, generalized oxidation resistivity at high temperature, resistance against chemical corrosion and mechanical properties, which have obvious advantages over traditional porous materials. In the field of the development of porous intermetallics, it is expected to expand their applications by further reducing the pore size to the nanoscale level to improve the filtration accuracy or increase the specific surface area, as well as introducing the high entropy design on the composition to improve the brittleness and enhance their material performance.

Key words: Intermetallic compound, Porous material, Preparation mechanism, Pore structure, Material property