Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)

DoITPoMS Micrograph Library Micrograph 579 and full record

Micrograph 579 and full record

Link to image file for micrograph 579
Micrograph no
Brief description
SEM image of open cell polyurethane foam
cell Link to MATTER Glossary entry for cell, composite material Link to MATTER Glossary entry for composite material, foam Link to MATTER Glossary entry for foam, polymer Link to MATTER Glossary entry for polymer, polymer composite foam, polyurethane (PU), thermoset
Composite, Foam, Polymer, Polymer composite foam
Polyurethane (PU)
Not specified
Standard codes
This open celled polymer foam is a compliant space-filler, used for padding and in furniture. It may also be used as a precursor in processes such as the two-stage casting of a metal foam.
Sample preparation
The foam has been sputter-coated with gold, to give a conducting surface
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
Length bar
800 μm
Further information
If a gas is injected into a liquid it forms a cellular foam structure. When a thermoset prepolymer of low viscosity is foamed, the polymer can drain from the cell walls (driven by surface tension) before it sets at the cell edges, leaving an open-celled foam. The cell edges have three concave sides, giving rise to the tri-cuspid cross section visible at the bottom of this image. The average co-ordination number for the nodes (where struts meet) is four, giving tetrahedral junctions.
J A Curran
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Licence for re-use
Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
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