Structural analysis of advanced polymeric foams by means of high resolution X-ray computed tomography

M. Nacucchi, F. De Pascalis, M. Scatto, L. Capodieci, R. Albertoni

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

6 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced polymeric foams with enhanced thermal insulation and mechanical properties are used in a wide range of industrial applications. The properties of a foam strongly depend upon its cell structure. Traditionally, their microstructure has been studied using 2D imaging systems based on optical or electron microscopy, with the obvious disadvantage that only the surface of the sample can be analysed. To overcome this shortcoming, the adoption of X-ray micro-tomography imaging is here suggested to allow for a complete 3D, non-destructive analysis of advanced polymeric foams. Unlike metallic foams, the resolution of the reconstructed structural features is hampered by the low contrast in the images due to weak X-ray absorption in the polymer. In this work an advanced methodology based on high-resolution and low-contrast techniques is used to perform quantitative analyses on both closed and open cells foams. Local structural features of individual cells such as equivalent diameter, sphericity, anisotropy and orientation are statistically evaluated. In addition, thickness and length of the struts are determined, underlining the key role played by the achieved resolution. In perspective, the quantitative description of these structural features will be used to evaluate the results of in situ mechanical and thermal test on foam samples.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventNANOITALY 2015 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 23 Jun 2016 → …


ConferenceNANOITALY 2015
Period23/6/16 → …


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Nacucchi, M., De Pascalis, F., Scatto, M., Capodieci, L., & Albertoni, R. (2016). Structural analysis of advanced polymeric foams by means of high resolution X-ray computed tomography. Paper presented at NANOITALY 2015, Rome, Italy.