Additive Manufacturing of Three-Phase Syntactic Foams Containing Glass Microballoons and Air Pores

Ashish Kumar Singh, Alexander J. Deptula, Rajesh Anawal, Mrityunjay Doddamani, Nikhil Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-density polyethylene and its syntactic foams reinforced with 20 vol.% and 40 vol.% glass microballoons were 3D printed using the fused filament fabrication method and studied for their compressive response. The three-phase microstructure of syntactic foams fabricated in this work also contained about 10 vol.% matrix porosity for obtaining light weight for buoyancy applications. Filaments for 3D printing were developed using a single screw filament extruder and printed on a commercial 3D printer using settings optimized in this work. Three-dimensional printed blanks were machined to obtain specimens that were tested at 10 −4  s −1 , 10 −3  s −1 , 10 −2  s −1 and 1 s −1 strain rates. The compression results were compared with those of compression-molded (CM) specimens of the same materials. It was observed that the syntactic foam had a three-phase microstructure: matrix, microballoons and air voids. The air voids made the resulting foam lighter than the CM specimen. The moduli of the 3D-printed specimen were higher than those of the CM specimens at all strain rates. Yield strength was observed to be higher for CM samples than 3D-printed ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1520-1527
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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