Silicone foaming / weight reduction / density reduction by expandable microspheres

Expandable microspheres can help in producing a lightweight silicone material by acting as a weight-reducing agent. When added to silicone foaming, these microspheres disperse throughout the material, creating a cellular structure. This cellular structure reduces the overall density of the silicone without compromising its mechanical properties .

For room temperature vulcanizing silicone applications, pre-expanded Expandable grades like WP40D or WP80D are recommended. These microspheres are free-flowing powders with high compressibility and low true densities, making them ideal for achieving weight reduction in silicone materials .

Additionally, the maximum addition of Expandable microspheres depends on the initial viscosity of the silicone. Lower initial viscosity allows for a higher addition level of microspheres, further contributing to the lightweight nature of the silicone material.

Benefits of using silicone foaming with Expandable microspheres

When using silicone foaming with Expandable microspheres, several benefits can be observed, including compressibility and shape recovery:

1. Compressibility

Expandable microspheres enhance the compressibility of silicone foaming. The cellular structure created by the microspheres allows the material to compress and deform under pressure, making it suitable for applications where flexibility and cushioning are required. This property can be advantageous in sealing, bonding, and molding applications where the material needs to adapt to varying pressures or surfaces .

2. Shape Recovery:

Silicone foaming with Expandable microspheres exhibits excellent shape recovery properties. The closed-cell structure of the material enables it to deform under stress and return to its original shape once the stress is removed. This feature is beneficial in applications where the material needs to maintain its shape and integrity over repeated use or deformation cycles .

3. Density Reduction:

Expandable microspheres help in producing lightweight silicone materials by reducing the density of the silicone through the creation of a cellular structure, ultimately offering a lightweight solution with maintained performance characteristics.

By incorporating Expandable microspheres into silicone rubber, manufacturers can achieve a material that offers both compressibility and shape recovery, making it versatile for a wide range of applications that require these properties.

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