Research Article of International Research Journal of Materials Sciences and Applications
Vinyl Ester/Glass Microballoon Syntactic Foams with Low Density
Salleh1, 2, M.M. Islam*1, J.A. Epaarachchi1, Haibin Su3
1Centre for Future Materials, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia 2Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology, 32200, Lumut, Perak, Malaysia 3Division of Materials Science, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798.
In this study, the synthesis and characterization of vinyl ester/glass microballoon syntactic foams with different weight percentages are investigated. Both the tensile and compressive properties of the syntactic foams are characterized. Generally, the results show that the compressive strength and moduli of several syntactic foam compositions are comparable to those of pure vinyl ester as a matrix resin. Due to the lower density of syntactic foams, the specific compressive properties of SCFT-01 (2wt.%) are higher than all other specimens and closer to neat resin. Similar trends are also observed in the tensile properties. The results show that syntactic foams with vinyl ester matrix possess strength behaviour that varies with different content of glass microballoons. This difference is related to the possibility of particle fracture in the stress range where modulus is calculated from the compressive stress–strain curves. In addition, tensile modulus is found to be 70–80% higher than the compressive modulus for all syntactic foam compositions, but both of them are still lower than neat resin. The results also show that the content of glass microballoons in the syntactic foams should be controlled to obtain a good combination of compressive strength and tensile strength. The reasons are discussed in detail.
Keywords: Syntactic foam, composite, glass microballoon, resin, wall thickness