School of Engineering
University of Liverpool

The Porous Materials Group conducts research on the manufacture and characterisation of particulate and porous materials. Our current focus is to develop the patented Lost Carbonate Sintering (LCS) process for manufacturing porous metals, to study the mechanical, thermal, electrochemical and acoustic properties of porous metals and metal matrix syntactic foams, and to explore their feasibility for applications in energy, automotive, defence, aerospace and building industries.

The LCS technology has been licensed to Versarien plc, a high-tech start-up company founded in 2010 and floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 2013, to commercialise the LCS process for micro-porous copper in thermal management applications. LCS porous copper products can be purchased from Goodfellow.

Articles about Our Research

Materials Story of 2010, TMS

Cooling Down, FOCUS, Issue 15, April 2010.

Cooling Down

University of Liverpool Business Gateway News

UK Consortium Develops Innovative Technology

The Key, 2008

How to Get More From Less

Research Intelligence, Issue 28, May 2006.

Realising the Potential of Porous Metals

University of Liverpool Leaflet



Professor Yuyuan Zhao was awarded the Ivor Jenkins Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for his outstanding contribution to powder metallurgy in developing and commercialising innovative powder based technologies for manufacturing metal foams

The following project is a Finalist of
The Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards 2010.

Project:    Micro-porous metals for thermal management
Sponsor: Technology Strategy Board
Partners: University of Liverpool
               C-Tech Innovation Ltd
               Thermacore Europe Ltd
               TotalCarbide Ltd
               Vacua-Therm Sales Ltd
               Ecka Granules Metal Powders Ltd.

Prof. Zhao receiving Ivor Jenkins Medal from President of IoMMM, 14 July 2015

Current Research Projects

Electrochemical properties of LCS porous metals

Pengcheng Zhu and Yuyuan Zhao

Wick structure manufactured by selective laser melting

Zhining Wu, Chris Sutcliffe and Yuyuan Zhao

Mechanical properties of metal matrix syntactic foam

Yue Zhang, Rob Birch and Yuyuan Zhao

Fluid flow in porous metals

Xianke Lu, David Dennis and Yuyuan Zhao

Dynamic behaviour of metal matrix syntactic foams

Chen Liang and Yuyuan Zhao

Creating real value from aluminium smelter waste

Bhavik Mehta and Yuyuan Zhao

Porous metals for electrode applications

Zejun Wang and Yuyuan Zhao

Non-Newtonian flow in porous media

Victor Ibezim, David Dennis, Rob Poole and Yuyuan Zhao

Multifunctional applications of porous metals

Liping Zhang and Yuyuan Zhao


Y. Y. Zhao, ‘Porous metallic materials and method of production thereof’, EP1755809 B1, filed: 2005, granted: 2008.

Y. Y. Zhao, ‘Porous metallic materials and method of production thereof’, US8968641 B2, filed: 2005, granted: 2015.

Selected Recent Publications  (Full publication list here)

P. Zhu, Z. Wu and Y. Zhao, ‘Hierarchical porous Cu with high surface area and fluid permeability’, Scripta Materialia, 172(2019) 119–124.

J. Yi, Y. Jia, Y. Zhao, Z. Xiao, K. He, Q. Wang, M. Wang and Z. Li, ‘Precipitation behavior of Cu-3.0Ni-0.72Si alloy’, Acta Materialia, 166(2019) 261-270.

K. Diao and Y. Zhao, ‘Heat transfer performance of sintered Cu microchannels produced by a novel method’, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 139(2019) 537–547.

X. Lu and Y. Zhao, ‘Effect of flow regime on convective heat transfer in porous copper manufactured by lost carbonate sintering’, International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 80(2019) 108482.

Y. Zhang and Y. Zhao, ‘Hysteretic energy dissipation in aluminium matrix syntactic foam under intermittent cyclic compression’, Materialia, 6(2019) 100286

P. Zhu and Y. Zhao, ‘Cyclic voltammetry measurements of electroactive surface area of porous nickel: Peak current and peak charge methods and diffusion layer effect’, Materials Chemistry and Physics 233(2019) 60–67.

H. Li, B. Yuan, Y. Gao and Y. Zhao, ‘Effect of oligocrystallinity on damping and pseudoelasticity of oligocrystalline Cu-Al-Mn shape memory foams’, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 773(2019) 940-949.

X. Lu, Y. Zhao and David J.C. Dennis, ‘Flow measurements in microporous media using micro-particle image velocimetry’, Physical Review Fluids, 3(2018), 104202.

P. Zhu and Y.Y. Zhao, ‘Effects of electrochemical reaction and surface morphology on electroactive surface area of porous copper manufactured by Lost Carbonate Sintering’, RSC Advances, 7(2017), 26392–26400.

L. P. Zhang and Y. Y. Zhao, ‘Particle size distribution of tin powder produced by centrifugal atomisation using rotating cups’, Powder Technology, 318(2017), 62–67.

E. Avalos and Y.Y. Zhao, ‘Numerical simulation of heat transfer in porous metals for cooling applications’, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 48(2017), 1925-1932.

P. Zhu and Y.Y. Zhao, ‘Mass transfer coefficient of porous nickel manufactured by Lost Carbonate Sintering process’, Advanced Engineering Materials, 19(2017), 1700392.

K. Diao, L. Zhang and Y.Y. Zhao, ‘Measurement of tortuosity of porous Cu using a diffusion diaphragm cell’, Measurement, Measurement, 110(2017) 335–338.

For further information please contact:

Professor Yuyuan Zhao
School of Engineering
The University of Liverpool
Brownlow Hill
Liverpool L69 3BX
U. K.


+44 (0)151 794 4697


+44 (0)151 794 4675



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File last modified: 27 September 2019