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[en] Highlights: • Fouling of metal foam heat exchangers as EGR gas coolers is tested. • An optimal design was inferred based on the generated data. • A simple cleaning technique was suggested and evaluated. - Abstract: This paper presents experimental results indicating the benefits and challenges associated with the use of metal foams as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) coolers. Fouling of such heat exchangers is a critical issue and, as such, special attention has been paid to address this very issue in the present study where a soot generator has been employed to simulate the engine running condition. Effects of aluminium foam PPI and height as well as gas velocity are investigated. It has been noted that proper design of the foam can lead to significantly higher heat transfer rate and reasonable pressure drop compared to no-foam cases. More interestingly, it is demonstrated that the foams can be cleaned easily without relying on expensive cleaning techniques. Using simple brush-cleaning, the foams can be reused as EGR gas coolers with a performance penalty of only 17% (compared to a new or clean foam).