Microballoon wall thickness effects on properties of syntactic foams

Nikhil Gupta, Eyassu Woldesenbet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel approach for changing the density of syntactic foams, while keeping the microballoon (hollow particles) volume fraction constant, is adopted in this work. This is achieved by selecting microballoons of the same size but with different wall thickness. Five types of microballoons are selected to fabricate syntactic foams. All the types of microballoons have about 40 μm mean particle sizes, but different wall thicknesses. This approach allows to maintain the same volume fractions of constituents and interfacial area while changing the density of syntactic foams. The fabricated syntactic foams are tested for their compressive properties in accordance to the ASTM D 695-96 standard. The results of the experimental investigation show a strong dependence of the compressive properties and the fracture characteristics of syntactic foams on the microballoon wall thickness. Shear cracking followed by cracking under secondary tensile stresses has been observed as the fracture mode. The present approach is found to be more effective than changing the microballoon volume fraction to change the syntactic foam density as it considerably increases the strength to the weight ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-480
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Cellular Plastics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Composites
  • Mechanical properties
  • Microballoon
  • Strength
  • Syntactic foam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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