For the carbon foam production, mesophase pitch pellets are heated up in a reactor in an aluminum mold to specified pressures and finally pressure released to obtain green carbon foam samples. The green foams were then stabilized and carbonized. The effects of various temperatures, pressures and pressure release times on production of carbons foams are investigated. The samples are subjected to SEM, mechanical testing, mercury porosimetry analysis and bulk density determination for characterization. For the processing temperatures of 553, 556, 566 and 573 K, the densities of the foams produced were 380, 390, 410 and 560 kg/m(3) respectively. The compressive strengths of the respective samples were increased from 1.47, to 3.31 MPa for the lowest and highest temperatures. The processing pressures were 3.8, 5.8, 6.8 and 7.8 MPa. The bulk density and the compressive strength of the carbon foams produced were changed from 500 to 580 kg/m(3), and 1.87 to 3.52 MPa for the lowest and highest pressures respectively. Pressure release times of 5 s, 80 s, 160 s and 600 s are used to produce different carbon foam samples. The densities and the comprehensive strengths measured for the highest and lowest pressure release times changed from 560 to 240 kg/m(3) and 3.31 to 2.16 MPa respectively. The pore size distribution of all of the products changed between 0.052 x 10(-6) m and 120 x 10(-6) m. Increase in temperature and pressure increased the bulk density and compressive strength of the carbon foams. The mercury porosimetry results show % porosity increase with increasing temperature and pressure. On the other hand, increase in pressure release time decreased the bulk density, compressive strength of the carbon foam. (c) 2006 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.