Thermal expansion and dynamic mechanical analysis of epoxy matrix–borosilicate glass hollow particle syntactic foams

Steven Eric Zeltmann, Brian Chen, Nikhil Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Syntactic foams are commonly fabricated with sodalime–borosilicate glass hollow microsphere fillers, which are susceptible to degradation after long-term or high temperature moisture exposure. In comparison, borosilicate glass hollow particles offer higher degradation resistance to moisture, lower thermal expansion, and higher softening temperature. This work explores borosilicate glass hollow microspheres for use as fillers in syntactic foams and studies their thermophysical properties. The coefficient of thermal expansion over the temperature range 35–90℃ was observed to decrease from 62.4 μ/K for the matrix resin to a minimum of 24.3 μ/K for syntactic foams, representing higher thermophysical stability of syntactic foams. Theoretical models are used to conduct parametric studies and understand the correlation between material parameters and coefficient of thermal expansion of syntactic foams. The dynamic mechanical analysis results show that the storage modulus of syntactic foams increases with increasing glass hollow microsphere wall thickness and with decreasing glass hollow microsphere volume fraction in the glassy region at 40℃. The β-relaxation of the matrix resin found at 66.1 ± 2.0℃ was suppressed in the majority of syntactic foams, further improving the stability around typical application temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-481
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cellular Plastics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Syntactic foam
  • coefficient of thermal expansion
  • dynamic mechanical analysis
  • hollow particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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