Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM D3576-04

Standard Test Method for Cell Size of Rigid Cellular Plastics

Significance and Use

Several physical properties of rigid cellular plastics are dependent on cell size and cell orientation. Measuring water absorption and open-cell content in accordance with Test Method D 2842 and Test Method D 2856 requires knowledge of surface cell volume, which uses cell size values in the calculations.

This test method provides an apparent cell size because it assumes that there is no measurable edge to edge or top to bottom variation in average cell size and that the cell size distribution about the average cell size is normal. If the analyst is concerned there may be significant variation in either the average cell size or the cell size distribution more detailed analysis may be required.

Before proceeding with this test method, reference should be made to the specification of the material being tested. Any test specimen preparation, conditioning, dimensions, or testing parameters, or a combination thereof, covered in the materials specification shall take precedence over those mentioned in this test method. If there are no material specifications, then the default conditions apply.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the apparent cell size of rigid cellular plastics by counting the number of cell-wall intersections in a specified distance.

1.2 Procedure A requires the preparation of a thin slice, not more than one half the average cell diameter in thickness, that is mechanically stable. For most rigid cellular plastics this limits the test method to materials with an average cell size of at least 0.2 mm.

1.3 Procedure B is intended for use with materials whose friable nature makes it difficult to obtain a thin slice for viewing.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in brackets are for information only.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Note 1—The annex to ISO 2896 is technically equivalent to this test method.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.22
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D3576-04