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18. August 2006

Solid glass microspheres reduce compound costs

Potters Industries, Valley Forge, PA, USA, supplies glass microsphere particles under the brand name of Spheriglass. As the company pointed in a recent study, the major benefit of adding solid glass spheres to resin formulations is reducing manufacturing costs while enhancing the physical properties of the compound. High loadings of glass spheres can, according to Potters, add significantly to the dimensional stability of the finished product by reducing shrinkage and improving part flatness. William Shaker, market development manager of polymer additives at Potters says, that shrinkage of unfilled or glass fibre filled nylon 66 can be cut by 70-80% when 30% glass spheres are used. And warpage is reduced 95-97%. High loadings can also increase flexural modulus, abrasion resistance, and surface hardness. Additional benefits according to Potters are good chemical resistance, increased compound flow, and improved compressive strength. Microspheres lower the viscosity of most compounded resin systems, acting as miniture ball bearings to improve flow. Because of this property it enables the production of very large and thin walled parts. The cost of glass spheres is less that half that of glass fibres.

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