Visiocell®: Innovation for accuracy
Recticel is dedicated to the highest standards of accuracy to ensure that your foam has the exact properties you need. Our unique Visiocell® testing method uses light micrographics for precise measurement of cell diameter of foams with a regular cell structure.
- Accuracy of at least 98%
- Better control of cell diameter during the foaming process
- The ability to produce foams within a very narrow cell diameter range
- Clarity in cell diameter specifications
Cell dimensions explained
A PU foam is a 3D structure made up of interconnected cells which form a network. The number of cells varies in the range of 20 million and 20 billion per cubic metre of foam.
Basic structure of a PU cell
The properties of the foam depend on the properties of each individual cell. Vital factors include:
- The nature of the polyurethane elastomer that constitutes the struts
- The thickness of the struts (30 in total)
- The overall size (volume) of the cell
- The size of the window/opening (12 in total)
- The presence of residual membranes in the window and their thickness
- The anisotropy of the structure and the morphology (shape) of the cell
How cell sizes are measured
Cell dimensions are a key parameter for many types of foam. In fact, the foam's performance and suitability for its application are directly influenced by the cell size. Cell sizes are traditionally expressed in pores per linear inch (PPI). However, this method causes confusion as it can be subjective and lacks precision for a number of reasons.
- The ‘pore’ has never been clearly defined. It can be the window or the full section of the cells.
- A cell has a 3D volume, but PPI reduces this volume to a linear measurement of the non-defined pore.
- Every foamer has its own PPI reference scale. This means that a foam defined as 80 PPI by one foamer can be defined as 110 PPI by another. Specifications can therefore be confusing.
The Visiocell® method
Recticel developed the Visiocell® test method to counteract the shortcomings of PPI when measuring the cell diameter of foams with a regular cell structure.
The method is based on 4 criteria:
- Accuracy of at least 98%
- Suitability for any foam with a regular structure: non reticulated, reticulated, any colour, etc.
- Affordable measurement equipment
- Fast and operator-independent
The right measuring method with the right foam
Visiocell® can only be used to measure foams with a regular cell structure. We use alternative methods for other types of foams. Use the table below to identify the test method used for the product that interests you.
|Foam type||Measurement method||Product families|
|Regular cell structure||Visiocell®||Pottscorer® with a regular cell structure
|Irregular cell structure||PPI (Parts Per Inch)||Pottscorer® with an irregular cell structure|
|Double cell (“sponge”) structure||Visual comparison with reference samples: fine, medium, coarse, extra-coarse||Sweepex® S