A detailed morphometric analysis of one-component polyurethane (PU) expanding foams, with densities of 26 and 28 kg/m3
(‘SUMMER’ and ‘WINTER’ product versions), was conducted to evaluate the topology of the foam cells and to discover processing-to-structure relationships. The microstructural analysis of the heterogeneously distributed pores revealed tight relationships between the foam morphology and the cell topology, depending on the growth rate and local environmental conditions, governed by the properties of the blowing gas used. The most significant morphometric output included the following: open/closed porosity and (heterogeneous) pore distribution, relative density and (homogeneous) strut distribution, and total solid matrix surface and closed pore surface area—at the macroscopic level of the foam. While, at the microscopic level of the cells, the results embraced the following: the size of every detected strut and pore, identified two-dimensional (2D) shapes of the cell faces, and proposed three-dimensional (3D) topologies modelling the PU foam cells. The foam microstructure could be then related with macroscopic features, significant in building applications. Our protocol outlines the common procedures that are currently used for the sample preparation, X-ray scanning, 3D image reconstruction and dataset analysis in the frame of the X-ray computed microtomography (µ-CT) testing of the one-component PU foams, followed by a statistical (multiple Gaussian) analysis and conceptual considerations of the results in comparison with thematic literature.
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