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

DoITPoMS Micrograph Library Micrograph 581 and full record

Micrograph 581 and full record

Link to image file for micrograph 581
Micrograph no
Brief description
X-ray tomography 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, X-ray tomography
Composite, Foam, Polymer, Polymer composite foam
Polyurethane (PU)
Not specified
Standard codes
The principle of x-ray tomography is to re-construct the spatial distribution of the linear attenuation coefficient within the object from X-ray radiographs recorded at different angular settings.
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
X-ray tomography
Length bar
1.5 mm
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. The average co-ordination number for the nodes (where struts meet) is four, giving tetrahedral junctions. The deformation behaviour of the foam was observed by X-ray microtomography at the ESRF in Grenoble. X-ray tomography overcomes the limitations of MRI in terms of contrast, and those of confocal optical microscopy in terms of depth of field.
Dr J A Elliott
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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