In order to investigate the effect of the morphology of open-cell foams on their functional properties, parametric stochastic 3D microstructure models have proven to be a valueable tool. In particular, the strut system of an open-cell foam can be modelled by the dilated edges of the cells of a Laguerre tessellation, which can be constructed based on a system of non-overlapping spheres, see, e.g., . An illustration of this procedure is shown in Figure 1. The parametric approach allows us, e.g., to modify the distribution of the cell volumes of the foam, which in turn allows us to analyze the influence of the cell volume distribution on functional properties using numerical simulations. In this talk, an approach is presented which can be used to investigate the influence of the distribution of cell face sizes, keeping the cell volume distribution approximately fixed, see . By constructing Laguerre tessellations based on a system of slightly overlapping spheres, the coefficient of variation of cell face sizes can be controlled by the degree of overlap of the generating sphere system. It turns out that the coefficient of variation of cell face sizes has a strong influence on constrictivity, which is a geometrical characteristic describing bottleneck effects. Then, by using the finite element method, permeability of 50 virtual microstructures with varying constrictivities is computed, and a linear relationship between constrictivity and permeability is found. The results from modelling and simulation are validated by printing three of the virtual microstructures using selective laser melting and subsequent experimental analysis of pressure drop. A good accordance between simulated and experimentally gained values can be observed.
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