Functional Additives

Polymeric Microspheres: A High-Performance Substitute for Chemical Blowing Agents

Posted by Chase Corp Editor on Dec 18, 2020 10:00:00 AM
Chase Corp Editor
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Female scientist working in a lab mixing formulations Physical or chemical blowing agents are used in the manufacture of foams. Physical agents are compressed gases and volatile liquids such as N2, CO2, hydrocarbons, ketones and alcohols while blowing agents of the chemical variety are generally solid organics or minerals that decompose in a certain temperature range.

Polymeric microspheres have organic plastic shells encapsulating low-boiling-point hydrocarbons. Materially, they are very low in density. 

For your final products, chemical blowing agents and unexpanded microspheres provide several benefits and properties:

  • reduces cost
  • less material consumption
  • reduces weight
  • improved printing on flat surfaces
  • higher production efficiency
  • lower processing temperatures
  • faster cycle time reduces machine energy
  • improves thermal insulation
  • improves sound insulation.

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


Microspheres are used in many applications today in lieu of chemical blowing agents. They offer a variety of advantages over traditional blowing agents and can assist in providing a product with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Benefits of Microspheres:  

  • controlled foaming process
  • uniform and strong cell structure (Chemical blowing agents’ cell structure is not always uniform, which can cause much larger cells, resulting in a weaker structure.)
  • unaffected by weather and plant temperatures
  • sandable
  • improved surface finish
  • can provide a matte or non-slip surface finish
  • can be used in combination with chemical blowing agents

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 any technical questions or would like to discuss your application(s) please contact Chase Corporation.

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Topics: Micrsopheres, Dualite, Polymeric Microspheres, Expanded Microspheres, Chemical Blowing Agents