The focus of this work is the identification of a unit cell that is able to represent the microstructure of a closed-cell solid foam to predict the effective behaviour of the foam numerically. For the investigation, a finite element model consisting of a repeating unit cell with periodical boundary conditions is implemented. A tetrakaidecahedral foam microstructure is considered as simplified cell geometry, and a strain-energy based homogenisation concept is utilized. On the basis of image analysis imperfections are applied to the cell. The obtained model is used as a representative volume element (RVE) for further investigations of the postbuckling behaviour of the foams. Different analyses are performed and the results are compared to literature and experimental data. (© 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)