Many fillers developed in recent years are generally much cheaper than resins. They have a great influence on the performance of resins. Therefore, it is worth noting that in the practical process it is necessary to make full use of their advantages and never reduce the performance of the final product,for properties that affect very significantly, such as flexural modulus and density.
Hollow glass microspheres are usually used as fillers for composite materials. Their addition will not only reduce the density of the matrix, but also increase the stiffness, strength, dimensional stability, and insulation of the matrix. Hollow glass microspheres are now widely used in thermosetting and thermoplastic resin products.
Artificial marble and agate products
Hollow glass microspheres used in artificial marble have many advantages: improve impact performance; improve texture layout and color continuity, increase aesthetics; reduce curing time, and have a faster mold turnover speed; improve impact strength and improve resistance cracking ability; reduce the time of edge removal, cutting, drilling and polishing; reduce the wear of post-processing tools; improve the coloring performance of light colors; reduce weight.
Comparison of density between standard artificial marble formulations and artificial marble formulations containing hollow glass microspheres:
|With hollow glass microspheres||Resin||30.2||37.4||1.466|
|Hollow glass microspheres||66||35.8|
Repair composite material (resin putty)
The typical application of composite materials for repair is to add hollow glass beads to the resin to replace some fillers such as calcium carbonate and talc to make various putties, which have light weight, strong adhesion, easy application, low shrinkage, etc. The advantages, especially the processing performance of sanding and polishing are significantly improved. This kind of putty is widely used in repairing operations such as FRP products, automobiles, ships, and machine tools.
In 1971, there was a research paper on SPI. It was introduced that by adding hollow glass microspheres to epoxy resin, higher quality foam can be obtained, the density is reduced by 20-30%, and the foam strength is 113.6MPa when its density is 0.66g/cc.
In the United States, glass microspheres synthetic foam has been successfully applied to ship rudders. This foam plastic block is used as the core material of the rudder, and the surface layer is glass fiber reinforced plastic. Compared with polyester, glass microspheres can significantly increase its strength while reducing weight. The rudder made of this material can resist bending load up to 2500kg, which is 3 times the strength of engineering plastic ABS.
The hollow glass microspheres are added to the liquid thermosetting resin to make a composite foam material, which has low density, high strength and good heat insulation effect. At present, it has been used to make marine cable floats, as well as submarines, diving suits and submarines in deep water below 300m.
There are still many applications in hollow glass microspheres in the composite material field. We will introduce more in the next blog.