Marine, aerospace, and automotive structural applications strive for low density materials having high strength, modulus, and damage tolerance. In addition, the regulatory requirements on low CO2 emission and environmental concerns are a challenge for automotive industries to promote vehicle weight reduction without compromise of its performance. Polymer composite materials reinforced with hollow glass microspheres are generally designed to comprise low density materials with higher mechanical performance.
Poly(acrylonitrile-co-butadiene-co-styrene) (ABS) is employed in the automotive industry, normally in the interior of vehicles as a function of its impact strength and outstanding balance between strain, modulus of elasticity, and tensile and flexural strength, combined to its low cost. Specific properties designed for different applications result from changes in proportions and monomers applied in its polymerization. Acrylonitrile monomer contributes to the property of thermal and chemical resistance, while butadiene monomer provides impact resistance and flexibility and styrene monomer adds to processability and stiffness.
Hollow glass microspheres are used to reduce weight and to impart specific properties to polymer materials for various applications. Hollow glass microspheres are characterized by being hollow glass spheres having average diameter of 15 to 65 mm with very thin walls of 0.5 to 1.5 mm and mainly of density from 0.12 to 0.60 g·cm−3, the addition of these spheres causing in general nearly no effect when processing the composite in view of the low amounts incorporated.
So the present work aims at developing ABS composites with different hollow glass microspheres loading in a twin-screw extruder, evaluating the effect of the addition of hollow glass microspheres at two different extruder feeding zones on the morphological, thermal, rheological, physical, and mechanical properties of the composites. The developed composite has potential application in the automobile industry, based on the reduction of composite density and improvement in the mechanical properties evaluated.
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