Since the dawn of mankind, there has been a drive to develop lighter materials to enable transport and ease of use. After the industrial revolution and the subsequent development of plastics, there have been ongoing material substitutions from metal, glass, wood, and stone to plastics and composites of these materials to reduce weight.

A logical next step in hollow glass microspheres evolution was to reduce the weight of plastics. Various, naturally low in density, fillers were first tried with limited density modification capability. In addition, injection or creation of gas in the polymer during the article forming process was also developed and utilized in nonstructural applications such as packaging.

This article comes from sciencedirect edit released

What are Glass Bubbles?

Additives, especially inorganic solid particulates, have greatly contributed to the growth of the polymer industry. They render polymers with improved mechanical, physical, electrical, thermal and dimensional properties, depending on their geometry and chemistry. Glass bubbles are finely dispersed, free-flowing powders consisting of thin-walled (0.5-1.5µm) spherical glass particles with an average diameter of 15-65µm.

Glass bubbles were developed in the 1960s as an outgrowth from the manufacture of solid glass beads. They are commercially manufactured by melting a unique glass formula that contains a latent blowing agent causing the molten glass particles to expand into a hollow bubble. The resultant glass bubbles are chemically stable, water resistant and compatible with many materials used for indirect food contact applications. The material technology has evolved in recent years to produce bubbles with a high strength to density ratio which enables their use in demanding polymer processing operations.

Density Reduction in Polymer Composites

Glass bubbles can provide new and unique material and design solutions for innovative users. They render polymers with lower density which is directly related to thermal conductivity and insulation properties. Polyurethane foam for appliance insulation is usually made with a chemical blowing agent and can achieve a very low density (0.20 – 0.40 g/cc). Typical polyurethane composite density with glass bubbles is in the 0.76 – 0.95 g/cc range so they are not competitive with urethane for achieving the highest insulation properties. But the unique property of the glass bubble foam is that it is rigid and structural and can be applied to the walls and housings themselves for additional insulation value.

Weight or mass reduction can be helpful in other ways such as helping to reduce shipping costs and ease installation issues. Glass bubbles can provide weight reduction for thermoplastics, thermosets and elastomeric polymer substrates.

The addition of glass bubbles to a polymer will result in physical property changes (density being the obvious one). Typically glass bubble addition will cause the composite to become stiffer than the original unfilled base resin. This can be useful for making stronger yet lighter housings and parts but impact strength is usually inversely related to stiffness. Impact usually becomes the property of focus for material specifiers trying to balance the benefits of mass reduction with other physical properties.

The choice of a specific bubble for a given application is important to maximize density reduction and to minimize cost-in-use. Not all glass bubbles can survive all polymer processing methods. As shown in Figure 2, the relationship of strength to density is important in selecting the lowest density glass bubble that will survive the process. With thermoset materials like polyurethanes and epoxies the predictive step in the process is the type of mixing system used. For high shear thermoset mixers such as Cowles mixers, a 3000 PSI bubble or higher strength material is generally required. For thermoplastics and rubber where there is only an extrusion process involved (e.g. sheet extrusion for thermoforming), then typically at least a 5000 PSI bubble is required. Injection molded thermoplastics require the highest compressive strength bubble – generally 16,000 PSI or greater. Finding the lowest density bubble that survives the process will insure the lowest cost in use since the least amount by weight will be required to achieve the targeted composite density.

This article comes from appliancedesign edit released

Additives, especially inorganic solid particulates, have greatly contributed to the growth of the polymer industry. They render polymers with improved mechanical, physical, electrical, thermal and dimensional properties, depending on their geometry and chemistry. Glass bubbles are finely dispersed, free-flowing powders consisting of thin-walled (0.5-1.5µm) spherical glass particles with an average diameter of 15-65µm.

Glass bubbles were developed in the 1960s as an outgrowth from the manufacture of solid glass beads. They are commercially manufactured by melting a unique glass formula that contains a latent blowing agent causing the molten glass particles to expand into a hollow bubble. The resultant glass bubbles are chemically stable, water resistant and compatible with many materials used for indirect food contact applications. The material technology has evolved in recent years to produce bubbles with a high strength to density ratio which enables their use in demanding polymer processing operations.

This article comes from appliancedesign edit released

Hollow glass beads, high melting point, greatly improving the coating temperature resistance, play a good role in the fire, hollow glass beads bearing spherical particles play a role, friction is small, can enhance the flow properties of the coating film, so construction easier.

Suggested Use:
Generally added in an amount of 10% by weight of the whole surface-treated beads and low density, so that the paint during storage prone to viscosity increases and the floating phenomenon, we propose to increase the initial viscosity of the coating increases thickener (via the added amount of the viscosity control in 140KU above), and not because the viscosity is too low to generate the floating phenomenon, and each system in the particulate material in a decrease in activity due to the high viscosity of such a case, but is conducive to the stability of viscosity control.

Proposal to add the following methods:
In order to take full advantage of the characteristics of the hollow microspheres, recommended adding a last resort, that is added to the beads into the final as low speed mixing equipment dispersed using low shear force, because the spherical beads mobility well, between the friction is not large, so it is easy to disperse. You can complete a short wet, slightly extended mixing time to achieve uniform dispersion.

Beads chemically inert, non-toxic. However, because of a very light, so they need special attention added. Recommended stepwise addition method, which is the amount for each remaining 1/2 beads gradually added, this can be good to avoid beads float into the air and dispersed more complete.

Single From a cost perspective, if the hollow glass bubbles per unit mass of the same price, you should use the lowest possible density of hollow glass microspheres, so low unit cost.If just from a performance standpoint, because the larger the lower the density of the hollow glass microspheres diameter, large diameter also reduces the conductivity between the zinc coating, which reduces the resistance to salt spray paint, and therefore should be chosen particle size as small as hollow glass microspheres.There are on the one hand I must mention that, due to the formulation of other fillers such as zinc and iron phosphate high density, when the coating solution is stirred crashed hollow glass microspheres, and in the spray when a low intensity hollow glass microspheres are easily broken failure. Therefore, the density of the microspheres can not be selected too large, the particle size can not be too large, and the strength is sufficient.

Proposal to add the following methods:
In order to take full advantage of the characteristics of the hollow microspheres, recommended adding a last resort, that is added to the beads into the final as low speed mixing equipment dispersed using low shear force, because the spherical beads mobility well, between the friction is not large, so it is easy to disperse. You can complete a short wet, slightly extended mixing time to achieve uniform dispersion.
Beads chemically inert, non-toxic. However, because of a very light, so they need special attention added.Recommended stepwise addition method, which is the amount for each remaining 1/2 beads gradually added, this can be good to avoid beads float into the air and dispersed more complete.

Sinosteel Maanshan New Material Technology Co., Ltd.

Hollow glass microspheres in type Ⅱ Class 1 zinc coating for alternative discussion
In Class 1 zinc-rich epoxy primer, at least more than 80% of the zinc coating to be able to call a Class 1, and the current high zinc prices, affecting the profits of the product.Epoxy zinc-rich primer to sell if it is on the rise, the use of hollow glass microspheres to replace the zinc portion for savings is very significant cost savings, of course, can not be sacrificing too much performance and to meet the national standard.
With the same mass of hollow glass microspheres S38HS to replace zinc, zinc ensure the non-volatile component in the proportion is still more than 80%. Design 6 recipes, hollow glass microspheres proportion from 0 to 5%.
Recipe by salt spray resistance test 7 to 12 recipes can be found under the same conditions as the film thickness, with hollow glass microspheres increases, salt spray resistance coatings decreased, but can meet the national standard class Ⅱ type 1 the requirement that the resistance to salt spray for more than 500h. Reduce formulation costs but indeed very obvious.

Reduce shrinkage products and warped
Isotropic and high-performance glass beads filling volume characteristic hollow, so that the size of the very high stability of the products, can reduce shrinkage and warped. When filling the right proportion, toughness products improved significantly, significantly improved impact resistance, surface hardness increased.
The volume of more economical cost
High-performance hollow glass microspheres density is only a fraction of the resin density, only a small amount of hollow glass microspheres can replace heavier materials. When considering the cost per unit volume, rather than the cost per unit weight, high-performance hollow glass microspheres can significantly reduce costs.
Adjust product density
High-performance hollow glass microspheres density is usually in 0.2 ~ 0.6g / cm3, and the density of the mineral filler is generally about 2.7 ~ 4.4g / cm3. To get equal volume, you must use 14 kilograms or more talc to get a 1 kg hollow glass microspheres effect. So add different hollow glass microspheres can be an ideal density.

Hollow glass beads is a lightweight multi-purpose non-metallic materials, light weight, mild, good insulation properties and other unique features, it is the development of submarines and underwater robots and other submersible, strengthen national defense construction, deep-sea resource exploration and exploitation of new materials, known as “new space age materials.”

According to the target of Ti – HGM diameter and wall thickness for selecting the appropriate foaming agent content and particle size range with titanium dry gel particles, and then choose the appropriate carrier gas composition, temperature and pressure, the preparation for Ti – HGM; Finally using microscope and interference microscope distribution measurement of Ti – HGM diameter, wall thickness, and concentricity, sphericity microspheres are measured with X-ray spectral fluorometer titanium doping content in the spherical shell.

In recent years, the expansion of deep-sea in deep water exploration and production in the pipeline for controlling the flow of long-distance transmission and heat in seawater job loss has quickly become a major technology investments.Early, deep tunnels just painted some black paint, but the insulation performance is very limited.

Hollow glass microspheres in type Ⅱ class 3 epoxy zinc-rich primer for iron phosphate replace discussion
GB HG / T3668-2009 stipulates mass less than 60% zinc can not be called rich epoxy primer, primer in three categories zinc content can no longer little, hollow glass microspheres can only to replace the iron phosphate.
With the same mass of hollow glass microspheres S38HS to replace the anti-rust paint iron phosphate, zinc in non-volatile component to ensure the proportion is still 61%. Experimental Design 6 recipes, hollow glass microspheres proportion from 0 to 5%.
With the same mass of hollow glass microspheres S38HS to replace the anti-rust paint iron phosphate, zinc in non-volatile component to ensure the proportion is still 61%. Experimental Design 6 recipes, hollow glass microspheres proportion from 0 to 5%.Formulations 2 to 5 can meet the national standard recipe Ⅱ type epoxy zinc-rich primer Class 3 requirements, although at the expense of a little performance, but can reduce some costs. If you replace the ball with a hollow glass beads iron phosphate cost savings, go with the high price of zinc to replace the low price of iron phosphate, so that they can pay back part of the salt spray resistance.

For these reasons, hollow glass microspheres applications market is shrinking, this trend continues, we have reason to worry about the hollow glass microspheres thus eventually disappear from the market.On the contrary, the development of market Cenospheres more positive, the current domestic market a “prosperity”, coupled with the domestic thermal power plant transformation, yields drift beads have been great as before, floating bead supply shortage, the market purchase prices soared, but it is few people to care about foreign imports cenosphere is in what areas, and what is the result of deep processing, and then finished with what kind of price movement of domestic sales.

In such a big situation, Sinosteel Maanshan Institute of Mining Research Co. spent heavily to introduce high-performance hollow glass bead production lines once the market, with its high compressive strength, low oil absorption and low thermal conductivity and a reasonable sale price is widespread concern, and gradually occupied the hollow glass microspheres vacuum market.Our hospital with hollow glass microspheres to market in a responsible manner the situation and re-regulate its market position and through practical work hard and continue to strengthen the production, use of technology, resources, markets and group advantage, set up factories in Ma On Shan, efforts let the steel horse mine hospital beads became a core technology, China’s leading, world-class manufacturing enterprise hollow glass beads, hollow glass microsphere product reunification standards.Application of hollow glass beads beads market has basically been excavated, mainly used in: thermal insulation coatings, anti-corrosion coatings, heat resistant coatings, powder coatings, fire retardant paint, plastic modified materials, filled with ordinary plastics, glass and steel products rubber products, oil and unsaturated resin filler (glass fiber reinforced plastic). Market feedback is good, even for some time shortage phenomenon, this phenomenon is not accidental, but inevitable trend of the market.