Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Waters, Cindy Dr.


The growth of porous metal has produced materials with improved properties as compared to non-metals and solid metals. Porous metal can be classified as either open cell or closed cell. Open cell allows a fluid media to pass through it. Closed cell is made up of adjacent sealed pores with shared cell walls. Metal foams offer higher strength to weight ratios, increased impact energy absorption, and a greater tolerance to high temperatures and adverse environmental conditions when compared to bulk materials. Copper and its alloys are examples of these, well known for high strength and good mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. In the present study, the porous Cu was made by a powder metallurgy process, using three different space holders, sodium chloride, sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. Several different samples have been produced, using different ratios of volume fraction. The densities of the porous metals have been measured and compared to the theoretical density calculated using an equation developed for these foams. The porous structure was determined with the removal of spacer materials through sintering process. The sintering process of each spacer material depends on the melting point of the spacer material. Processing, characterization, and mechanical properties were completed. These tests include density measurements, compression tests, computed tomography (CT) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The captured morphological images are utilized to generate the object-oriented finite element (OOF) analysis for the porous copper. Porous copper was formed with porosities in the range of 40-66% with density ranges from 3 to 5.2 g/cm³. A study of two different methods to measure porosity was completed. OOF (Object Oriented Finite Elements) is a desktop software application for studying the relationship between the microstructure of a material and its overall mechanical, dielectric, or thermal properties using finite element models based on real or simulated micrographs. OOF provides methods for segmenting images, creating meshes and solving of complex geometries using finite element models, and visualizing 2D results.