Micro-porous nickel (Ni) with an open cell structure was fabricated by a special powder metallurgical process, which includes the adding of a space-holding material. The average pore size of the micro-porous Ni samples approximated 30 μm and 150 μm, and the porosity ranged from 60 % to 80 %. The porous characteristics of the Ni samples were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the mechanical properties were evaluated using compressive tests. For comparison, porous Ni samples with a macro-porous structure prepared by both powder metallurgy (pore size 800 μm) and the traditional chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method (pore size 1300 μm) were also presented. Results indicated that the porous Ni samples with a micro-porous structure exhibited different deformation behaviour and dramatically increased mechanical properties, compared to those of the macro-porous Ni samples.
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