Posts tagged ‘Microspheres’

1: Binder: The application of glass microsphere in the binder can give it the advantages of weight reduction, shrinkage reduction, VOC reduction and increased filling amount.

2: Bowling ball: It can be used to control the density well. Using microspheres with different densities as fillers can better control the density and ensure the stability of the ball.

3: Deep water floating body: reduce the amount of resin used in production, thus reducing the cost; It can reduce weight; Waterproof; Easy to grind (good grinding performance); Easy processing (low viscosity, good flow performance)

4: Polyurethane injection molding: It can reduce cost, easy to polish, easy to process, reduce shrinkage, reduce warpage, and reduce weight.

5: Plugging agent: used as a plugging agent, it can reduce shrinkage and prevent cracking.

6: Artificial stone: It can be easily polished, easily processed, reduce weight, and prevent from thermal cracking (that is, its thermal insulation property has the effect of resisting thermal shock)

7: Cement: adding ceramic tile cement can reduce shrinkage and increase flow.

8: Polyester casting: used for furniture decoration, it can reduce the amount of resin used to reduce costs, easy to polish, easy to process, reduce shrinkage, reduce warpage, reduce weight, and have the effect of heat preservation, making it feel good.

9: Golf ball: (light ball) mainly refers to the effect of weight reduction.

10: Ship putty: used in ship putty can reduce resin consumption, cost, weight, shrinkage and warpage.

11: Clamping board putty: it can reduce cost, weight, shrinkage and warpage.

12: Ceramic material (lightweight): it can reduce the cost, shrink, dielectric constant and heat insulation.

13: Wall putty: It can be easily polished and reduce shrinkage.

14: Synthetic foam: It has the effect of reducing cost and weight.

15: SMC, BMC and other composite materials such as glass fiber reinforced plastic and wood plastic can reduce weight, resin consumption, cost, heat preservation, shrinkage, warpage and easy processing.

16: Application of paint:

(1) Interior and exterior wall coatings of buildings: improve the reflection, heat insulation, durability, waterproof and scrub resistance of coatings; nature

(2) Thermal insulation coating: good thermal insulation effect, increase the building area, energy conservation and environmental protection, and reduce building energy consumption.

17: Glass microspheres are used in oil and gas fields:

(1) Drilling fluid: it can be added to various drilling fluids as a density reducing agent, and its main advantages are: well reducing the density of drilling fluid; It reduces torque and friction, and does no harm to the formation. It works with leak loss reducer to reduce circulating leakage. It is easy to mix and pump. Grout replenishing can be easily mixed on site without special equipment. It has high stability, good compression resistance, and no impact on the performance of drilling and downhole equipment. Microspheric drilling fluid is single-phase and incompressible, so it can be easily used for fluid calculation and measurement while drilling. It has no effect on rheological properties. It can be recycled and reused.

(2) Cementing cement: it is used in cementing cement, and its main advantages are: it can reduce the density very well, and has good rheological property, improve the displacement speed, high and tight cementation strength, reduce leakage, reduce the waiting time, easy to mix, no special equipment, easy to pump, high cementing strength, high compressive strength, no need for multi-stage cementing.

Hollow glass polymeric or ceramic microspheres are used in coatings or composites and exhibit unusual mechanical and heat-insulation properties.In many countries, heat insulation by means of coatings is achieved by adding hollow or solid microspheres in acrylic-based coatings. Many coatings are developed with high absorbtivity in the visible regime and very low emissivity in the IR regime for architectural as well as industrial coatings.

Issues like stringent environmental regulations, customer requirements and competitive markets can be tackled with innovative raw material usage and developing new processes. There are many raw materials available that can be called ‘answers awaiting questions’; a good example being microspheres.

These specialty materials are used for many purposes in many diverse industries. Microspheres are innovative raw materials in the coatings industry, and are diverse because both solid and hollow formats are readily available. Solid spheres are most commonly used in reflective traffic paints where the microspheres are used as light reflectors. Hollow microspheres are small, spherical particles ranging in size from 12-300 microns in diameter, and wall thickness up to 0.1 micron. As these microspheres are hollow, the true density is very low, ranging from 0.60 g/cc to as low as 0.025 g/cc. Organic hollow microspheres are mostly composed of polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile or phenolic materials, while inorganic microspheres are glass, ceramic or made from fly ash from thermal power plants.

Glass Microspheres
Glass microspheres give high heat and chemical resistance with density ranges of 0.125 – 0.60 g/cc. The collapse strength depends directly on the wall thickness and density, thus the higher the density, the higher the strength.

Solid or hollow glass microspheres are used in various applications in the coatings industry. They are commonly used to improve the performance of epoxy primers, powder coatings, floor applications, aircraft paints and industrial coatings. Hollow spheres are used in thermal insulating coatings for construction and transportation applications, and also for acoustic insulation coatings.(4) Hollow glass microspheres with a density of 0.6 g/cc with a fine particle size distribution can be used in flat wall paint.

Plastic Microspheres
Thermoplastic microspheres are compressible hollow particles with thin shell walls having densities as low as 0.025 g/cc. As resilient plastic materials, these microspheres can deform under stress (during high shear mixing or pumping), and there is very low to no breakage. The compressible nature of plastic can absorb impact, reducing damage caused by stone chips, foot traffic or freeze-thaw cycles.

Use in Coatings
Uniform spherical-shaped microspheres have lower surface area then irregular fillers and extender pigments, which means a lower resin demand. Another benefit to the spherical shape is the ability to roll past one another, hence there is minimal impact on viscosity when they are added to a liquid. As coatings are manufactured on weight basis and sold on volume basis, microspheres are used to increase the solid content of a coating, maintaining application and flow properties. Higher-volume solids reduce VOCs, shrinkage and drying time.

Since hollow spheres lower the density of materials, they are added to coatings. If added in coatings, it will atomize better while spraying and it will give less spatter while rolling also sag less once applied. [4]

One of the most important applications microspheres have been developed for is the Space Shuttle program. When the space shuttle re-enters the earth’s atmosphere, incredible heat is generated due to increasing air friction. In order to prevent the space shuttle from burning up during re-entry, NASA scientists developed a superior insulating material using Ceramic technology. This technology can now be applied to roofs and sidewalls of buildings, piping, ducts, tanks, various storage devices, refrigerated containers, cold rooms, etc. in order to insulate them from the radiant heat of the sun and the atmosphere by using hollow ceramic spheres.

Stagnant air is a bad conductor of heat because heat is transferred by convection currents. Stagnant air inside hollow spheres acts as an insulator for heat and hence can be used as heat insulating material in coatings. This characteristic of hollow microspheres allows improved thermal and acoustic insulation properties of coatings or composites. Currently, markets taking advantage of this property include fire retardant materials, sensitive acoustic equipment, and roof coatings.

Applications of Hollow Microspheres
All Types of Roofs – Flat or Slopping, made of Concrete, Metal or Asbestos Cement,
Side Walls of Residential and Commercial Buildings, Hotels and Hospitals, Construction Office,
Roofs and Sidewalls at Process Control Rooms, Surveillance Towers, Manufacturing Plants and similar constructions and structures
Piping in Air Conditioning Systems, Steam Pipes, Thermo Fluid Pipes, Boilers
Exterior of Storage Tanks for Crude Oil, Chemicals, Solvents, Natural and Petroleum Gas, Storage Devices at Petroleum and Petrochemical Industries,
Grain Silos, Fishing Trawlers, Cold Storage, Refrigerated Trucks and Containers
Exterior Roofs of Public Transport Vehicles, Railway Passenger Coaches

Large particle sizes of microspheres can result in surface texture, meaning gloss reduction. Today, however, fine size hollow glass microspheres are available for coatings requiring higher gloss and thin layer deposition . Microspheres have low density, which means the particles have the tendency to become airborne while being added to the batch. Also for the same reasons, floating or phase separation can occur in the finished mix.

Hollow micro spheres (especially glass microspheres) offer improved scrub and burnish properties, gloss, stain resistance, viscosity control, thermal insulation and sound-dampening characteristics. No other conventional additive can match the multiple performance benefits of hollow micro spheres. Their hollow structure, low density and small particle size make them ideal for use as extenders for paint formulations. With particle sizes considerably finer than previously available, hollow micro spheres can be used in thin-film coatings to improve integrity. In the case of glass microspheres, they do not absorb resin, allowing more resin to be available in film forming; the result being a tighter and more uniform film with improved durability . Opaque hollow-sphere polymeric pigments can be added to improve dry hide of coatings, which allows the paint manufacturer to reduce the level of TiO2 in coatings at no loss of performance.

The composites industry is an application of microspheres that consumes the greatest amount by volume. Many of these microspheres are lightweight hollow glass or ceramic spheres that are added to binder material to create products with the lowest possible weight.

Integration of microspheres into composite parts increases the ease of applications and mixing. The ball-bearing effect improves flow and lowers the viscosity of resin mixes, which significantly simplifies processability, resulting in easier machinability, faster cycle times and cost savings. The smooth, spherical shape of microspheres allows even dispersion and packing efficiency. Microspheres can be used in most processing methods for thermoset and thermoplastic polymers such as extrusion and injection molding. They blend easily into compounds, which makes them adaptable to a variety of production processes, including spraying and casting.

Hollow glass microspheres provide weight reduction and resin extension in aerospace, automotive, construction, explosive, marine, coating, abrasive, film industry and sporting goods applications.

Flotation Devices and Underwater Vessels
Microspheres are widely used in the fiber-reinforced polyester industry to improve the manufacturing process for shower stalls, boats, some types of flotation devices and underwater vessels, offering the benefits of deep-sea buoyancy and subsea thermal insulation. Syntactic pipe insulation and buoyancy foams made with hollow microspheres are used in a growing number of deep-water recovery programs.

Automotive, Building, Marine and Aerospace
The automotive, building, marine and aerospace industries require the lowest possible weight for materials. The makers of syntactic foams require the controlled, closed cells that only microspheres can offer. Due to their physical characteristics, most microspheres are extremely good insulators, reflect and dissipate heat very effectively, and are also fire resistant. As a result, many fire-retardant materials and roof coatings are made using ceramic or glass microspheres. Microspheres are also used in acoustic/dielectric sensors and aerospace adhesives.

Oil and Gas
Microspheres are used in oil and gas production as an additive for lightweight cement slurries and allow reduction of cement slurry density without increasing the water content.

Paints and Coatings
Coatings containing microspheres are stronger and more durable than other coatings. Because hollow spheres lower the density of materials to which they are added, a gallon of paint or coating made with hollow microspheres will weigh less than the same product
made without them. Lower-density coatings are cheaper to produce and ship and easier to carry up ladders. Next-generation microspheres used in paint and coating applications enhance weatherability and durability of components and finished products.