Functional Additives

How to Offset Rising Costs in Adhesives, Sealants & Coatings with Microspheres!

Posted by Nick Leuci on Apr 13, 2021 2:00:00 PM
Nick Leuci
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Microspheresaa for the automotive industry copy-1The market for adhesives, sealants, paint and coatings is highly competitive. It is difficult to reduce the density/cost of these products without affecting quality and performance. Using fillers is the most common way to drive costs down. Typically, however, the more filler used, the lower the performance of the product.

Dualite polymeric microspheres can be used as alternatives to traditional fillers and are among the most effective ways to reduce costs and maintain quality and performance.

Related Article: Are You Making This Mistake When Calculating The Cost of Microspheres?

What are Dualite microspheres?

Dualite microspheres have organic thermoplastic shells that encapsulate low-boiling-point hydrocarbons. Dualite microspheres are available in both expanded and unexpanded grades.

Dualite microspheres have an exceptionally low volume cost. A typical loading level is 1-3% by weight of your formula. This loading level can extend your volume approximately 20% and reduce the weight of the product.

In addition to cost and weight improvements, there are several other benefits you can obtain when using polymeric microspheres. 

  • ultra low density – The E Grades range in density from 0.30 g/cc up to 0.135 g/cc. They have either an acrylonitrile copolymer (ACN) shell or a polyvinylidene( PVDC) shell with a small amount of a hydrocarbon gas in the center. The shell is coated with calcium carbonate or aluminum trihydrate.
  • no dust explosion hazard – Expanded Dualite microspheres have calcium carbonate or aluminum trihydrate coatings, which eliminates the dust explosion hazards that exist with most other polymeric microspheres.
  • unexpanded Dualite – Polymeric microspheres can be used as blowing agents in gap-filling adhesives or cost-reduction initiatives. Heat is needed in your application or process to expand the microspheres. These beads are especially robust in their unexpanded states and are not coated. In the unexpanded states, they have a 5-45 micron size and can expand up to 60 times their original size.
  • shear stable –Dualite microspheres are flexible, making them shear stable. They are pumpable and sprayable, and the expanded grades have a PSI rating up to 2,500, depending on the microsphere. Unlike glass microspheres, if Dualite microspheres rupture, they will not increase your density/cost or degrade your pump seals.
  • substrate surface – With a porous substrate, adhesives have a tendency to “dive” into the surface, resulting in using more adhesive or poor bond strength. The use of Dualite can help prevent this in many applications.
  • reduce volatile organic compounds -Microspheres take up space and reduce the amount of resin needed in the formula. They can also impede the migration of the VOC, or Volatile Organic Compound, trying to escape the resin mix.
  • reduce shrinkage – Microspheres do not shrink or absorb moisture.
  • better impact/crack resistance -- The flexible microspheres absorb impact and energy.
  • insulation value – They create an air space.
  • dry time – Water-based adhesives and coatings dry more quickly with microspheres, since they take up more space, using less water.
  • reflective – Dualite is white in color.
  • sound dampening – Microspheres create a layer/space, absorbing noise and vibration.
  • viscosity enhancer – A small addition of microspheres can help to increase viscosity, which can also be quickly reduced with pressure.
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Applications for microspheres are numerous, including plastics, plastisol inks, cultured marble, automotive underbody coatings, sealers, acrylic roof coatings, paints, adhesives, and many more.

If you have questions regarding your microsphere project, please contact Chase Corporation for an expert opinion.

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Topics: Micrsopheres, Dualite, Cost Reduction