Cellular Ceramics


Porous ceramics can be manufactured in a high variability of pore sizes, pore size distribution and amounts of open and closed porosity. Applications of these porous ceramics exist in the field of separation techniques and filtration (i.e. dedusting, diesel particulate filtration, filtration of liquids), sound and heat insulation, in chemical and thermal process engineering (i.e. catalyst supports, porous burners), medical technology (e.g. bone substitution materials) and in lightweight constructions.

Fraunhofer IKTS is a strong research partner in the field of porous ceramics with numerous manufacturing technologies and components with pore sizes in a scale from nanometer to millimeter range. Cellular ceramics like foam ceramics are manufactured by the replica technique and can be characterized by their high pore volumes and available open porosity. With these properties, foam materials are predestined as excellent depth filters, which are needed for molten metal filtration. Additionally, they are suitable carriers for catalysts and storage materials. Similar pore sizes can be obtained with directly foamed ceramics, which can be realized with open and closed porosity. Via foaming procedure, the pore structure can be varied so that specific thermal and sound insulation properties can be achieved. These highly porous ceramics will be supplemented by grain ceramics with significantly smaller pore sizes and narrow pore size distributions. Fraunhofer IKTS develops these kind of porous ceramics for asymmetric filters or membrane filters whereby the pore structure can be varied gradually or continuously.


Porous ceramics in different shades, shapes and pore size.
Cellular ceramics with open porosity (foam ceramics).
Cross section of ceramic tubes and cuboid rods with different sizes and internal honeycomb structure.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
Components made of porous grain ceramics.
Ceramic blocks of different sizes and shades with closed porosity.
Cellular ceramics with closed porosity (directly foamed ceramics).
Microscopic view of porous grain ceramics.
Porous grain ceramics with micropores.
Microscopic view of graded foam ceramic with the upper part compacted into a plate and underneath in a net-like structure.
Foam ceramics with pore gradient.
Microscopic view of large grain ceramics.
Porous grain ceramics with mesopores.

Products and services offered


  • Development of ceramic materials on the basis of oxide and non-oxide ceramics with pore sizes from nanometer to millimeter range
    • Ceramic foams with high open porosity and pore volumes
    • Directly foamed ceramics with open or closed porosity and low densities
    • Grain ceramics with narrow and/or asymmetric pore size distributions
  • Analysis of properties of porous ceramics (i.e. pore size, pore volume, specific surface, permeability)
  • Optimization of application-specific properties
  • Process development for the manufacturing of porous ceramic components
  • Design and manufacturing of prototypes and small series of porous ceramics


Technical equipment


  • High-performance machine technology for the development and manufacturing of components made of porous ceramics
  • Continuously working plant for ceramic foam coating
  • Extensive analysis technologies for the characterization of porous ceramics
  • Test rigs for application-oriented testing of porous ceramic components


Examples and references


  • Materials and manufacturing methods for diesel particulate filters
  • Catalyst supports and catalysts for chemical and environmental process engineering
  • Catalyst systems for photocatalytic applications
  • Membranes and multilayer systems for microfiltration and dust removal from hot gas
  • Components and process development for open-cell foams (ceramic/metal) for applications as filter, burner, reformer, solar receiver
  • Preforms for metal-matrix composites (MMC)
  • Bone implants
  • High temperature insulation materials

Current research

Porous ceramics for optical moisture sensors

Current research

Direct foaming of ceramic slurries

Current Research

Industry-oriented continuous manufacturing of ceramic foam


Bone substitute materials


Burners and reformers


Ceramic foams


Porous preforms for metal-matrix composites


Moisture sensors