A Novel Manufacturing Strategy for Bio-Inspired Cellular Structures

Carmen Torres-Sanchez, Jonathan Corney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a novel manufacturing method for cellular
materials with a graded porosity distribution. The motivation for creating a
gradient of porosity in materials has been inspired by nature and aspires to
mimic natural structures so their intrinsic advantages (e.g., optimised
mechanical properties) can be exploited. Many engineering applications (e.g.,
thermal, acoustics, mechanical, structural and tissue engineering) require
porosity tailored structures. However, current manufacturing processes are
currently unable to mass-produce these foams. In this work, low power-low
frequency ultrasonic irradiation has been used to excite polymeric foaming
melts that, once solidified, contained different porosity distributions throughout
in their solid matrix. This was possible by controlling the amount of energy
imposed on the samples. The generation of porosity gradients that resembles
those of natural cellular structures (e.g., bones, stems) opens up new
opportunities in the design and manufacture of bio-inspired materials that can
solve challenging technological problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
JournalInternational Journal of Design Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • porosity gradient
  • acoustic field
  • design engineering
  • Topography
  • Ultrasound
  • Manufacture
  • cellular structure
  • Polymeric foam
  • bio-inspired structure


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