Reducing the weight of thermoplastics parts has been a high priority objective in various industries such as transportation, aerospace, hand-held electronics and sports and leisure. Hollow glass microspheres are currently used in a variety of lightweight automotive applications, including thermoplastics, sheet and bulk molding composites, underbody coatings (plastisols), structural foams and auto body fillers. Hollow glass microspheres are excellent strength/weight optimizers when they are used in filled polymer systems such as glass fiber, talc, and calcium carbonate filled thermoplastics. Reducing and replacing a certain percentage of these high density fillers with hollow glass microspheres results in weight reduction while significantly maintaining the original mechanical properties of the composite. Hollow glass microspheres impart several benefits to thermoplastics in addition to density reduction.These include:
- Productivity Benefits through faster cooling rates from the melt.
- Dimensional stability (sink and warpage elimination).
- Increased stiffness (modulus) and heat distortion resistance.
- Reduced thermal conductivity and dielectric constant.
All of these new functions and benefits can be achieved with class-a surface and with existing equipment enabling new design functions.
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