Characterization of the three-dimensional structure of a metallic foam during compressive deformation


S. McDonald. Tel: +44 161 306 8959; fax: +44 161 306 3586; e-mail:


X-ray microtomography has been employed to collect three-dimensional images of aluminium closed-cell foam, enabling the internal structure to be characterized in three dimensions. An experimental technique and image analysis approach has been developed, and is described, in terms of the labelling of cells and the extraction of quantitative data such as the cell volume and cell compression. An in situ compressive deformation experiment has been performed on a single sample in order to illustrate the approach. The effect of the three-dimensional cellular structure on the mechanisms of deformation suggests not only the position of large cell volumes to be very important in the local concentration of stress, but also the distribution of cell volumes of immediate neighbours.