The present invention is based, in part, on a method for combining a mixture of hydroxide and hydride functional siloxanes to form a polysiloxane polymer foam, that leaves no residue (zero char yield) upon thermal decomposition, with ceramic and/or metal powders and appropriate catalysts to produce porous foam structures having compositions, densities, porosities and structures not previously attainable. The siloxanes are mixed with the ceramic and/or metal powder, wherein the powder has a particle size of about 400 .mu.m or less, a catalyst is added causing the siloxanes to foam and crosslink, thereby forming a polysiloxane polymer foam having the metal or ceramic powder dispersed therein. The polymer foam is heated to thermally decompose the polymer foam and sinter the powder particles together. Because the system is completely nonaqueous, this method further provides for incorporating reactive metals such as magnesium and aluminum, which can be further processed, into the foam structure.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.