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Processing Routes to Macroporous Ceramics: A Review


  • G. Messing—contributing editor

  • The investigations on particle-stabilized foams was supported by the CIBA Specialty Chemicals (Switzerland).

  • Presented at the 9th International Ceramic Processing Science Symposium, Coral Springs, FL, Jan. 8–11, 2006.

†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail:


Macroporous ceramics with pore sizes from 400 nm to 4 mm and porosity within the range 20%–97% have been produced for a number of well-established and emerging applications, such as molten metal filtration, catalysis, refractory insulation, and hot gas filtration. These applications take advantage of the unique properties achieved through the incorporation of macropores into solid ceramics. In this article, we review the main processing routes that can be used for the fabrication of macroporous ceramics with tailored microstructure and chemical composition. Emphasis is given to versatile and simple approaches that allow one to control the microstructural features that ultimately determine the properties of the macroporous material. Replica, sacrificial template, and direct foaming techniques are described and compared in terms of microstructures and mechanical properties that can be achieved. Finally, directions to future investigations on the processing of macroporous ceramics are proposed.