Foams and Cellular Materials


- To know and evaluate the mechanical and thermal properties of foams and cellular materials;

- To know and evaluate the mechanical and thermal characteristics of the cork (cellular material of particular relevance for the Portuguese economics);

- To know the most common applications of cellular materials;

- To be able to determine the mechanical behaviour of foams and cellular materials specific situations in actual use;

- To be able to conduct tests to assess the properties of foams and cellular materials.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Lorna J. Gibson, Michael J. Ashby, "Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties", Cambridge Solid State Series, 1999 (ISBN 0521499119).

- Notes from the curricular unit.

- Scientific research papers relevant to the course.


Teaching method

Two types of lessons will be considered: Lectures (theory / practice) and laboratory. The lectures will be given using PowerPoint slides and students have access to copies of them on the course page in Moodle. Different case studies based on scientific articles will also be analysed in the lectures.

The laboratory work will be performed by the students under the guidance of the teacher and focus on the different topics of the syllabus.

Evaluation method

The student’s final mark GF will result from two distinct components:

•A mark corresponding to the individual assignment GI;
•A mark corresponding to the collective assignment GC;
•The result will be calculated as follows:

GF = 0.5 x GI + 0.5 x GC


In turn, the individual mark GI will reflect the evaluation performed by the teachers (GT) as well as that from the other students (GS):


GI = 0.6 x GT + 0.4 x GS


The collective mark GC will be the sole responsibility of the teachers.

Subject matter

Introduction to cellular solids.

The structure of cellular solids.

Properties of cellular solids.

Mechanical behaviour of honeycomb structures.

Mechanical behaviour of foams.

Thermal, acoustic and electric properties of cellular materials.

Energy absorption by cellular materials.

Design of laminated structures with foam core.

Natural cellular materials (wood, cork, bone tissue).

Synthetic cellular materials (polymer, metallic and ceramic foams; syntactic foams).

Linear elasticity of anisotropic cellular materials.