On the compressive behaviour of sintered porous coppers with low to medium porosities: Part II: preparation and microstructure

Bin Wang, Erlin Zhang

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37 Citations (Scopus)


A polymer space-holder method was used in this study to prepare porous coppers with low-to-medium porosity within the range 5–50%. This provides the possibility to control the pore size, distribution and structure. Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersion spectrum (EDS) were utilized to characterize the porous samples. Two different sizes of copper powders, 5 and 45 µm, were used to investigate the effect of raw materials powder size. Microstructure results have shown that there exist two different types of pore in the sintered samples: round-shaped macro-pores left over by the burnout of the space holder and irregular micro-pores or the intervals among metal powders. No matter which size powder was used, the size of the macro-pore falls into a range 200–500 µm, but the pore structures are different in the two cases, interconnected or open pores for the 45 µm raw powders and closed pore for the 5 µm powders. The sizes of the micro-pores among the copper powders in the two cases are also different, several microns for the 5 µm powders and 10–20 µm for the 45 µm powders, though all micro-pores are interconnected for both powder sizes. From the viewpoint of pore structure, it is concluded that the 45 µm powder is more appropriate for use to prepare the porous metal. In addition, the effect of the binder was also investigated. It is suggested that a binder that can be easily and completely removed should be used in order to induce the residue. This paper, as Part II of the publication, focuses on the fabrication of the porous samples where Part I [Lemons JE, editor. Quantitative characterization and performance of porous implants for hard tissue application. ASTM STP 953; 1985] has been published earlier for the mechanical properties of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date21 Aug 2007
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • porous metal
  • powder metallurgy
  • microstructure
  • mechanical strength


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