Industrial Liaison Office

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Polymer foams

One aim of the motor car industry is to reduce the noise generated by engines and other moving parts. Super-light materials known as "polymer foams" are employed to reduce noise and vibration because of their superior insulation properties and their capacity to absorb impacts. The very structure and composition of these foams render them resistant to study by traditional techniques.


Elettra's contribution
The technique of phase contrast microtomography, available at Elettra, has made it possible to examine the microstructure of foams when subjected to various deformation processes, and correlations have been derived between a material's structure, its deformation resistance and its insulation properties. The study of their morphologies has also made it possible to calculate their capacity to absorb the energy arising from impacts and vibrations.

In addition to their use in the motor industry for improved vehicle comfort and safety, the new polymer foams are likely to prove attractive to the packaging industry because of their lightness and ability to absorb vibrations.


Facility: SYRMEP Beamline, TOMOLAB Laboratory
µCT Based Measurements of the Characteristic Lengths of Polyurethane Foams Employed in the Automotive Industry for Noise Control Applications; L. Bregant, S. Favretto, and C. Bertolini; Proceedings of the 5th World Congress on Industrial Process Tomography, Bergen, Norway 2007.