3M™ Glass Bubbles S22 are hollow glass spheres with a typical density of 0.22 g/cc and an isostatic crush strength of 400 psi. These glass bubbles can be used in a variety of applications including oil and gas drilling and tooling board. The bubbles produce strong, stable voids and low thermal conductivity, helping the coating achieve the necessary compressive strength.
What are 3M™ Glass Bubbles?
3M™ Glass Bubbles are engineered hollow glass microspheres made from water-resistant and chemically-stable soda-lime borosilicate glass. Like all 3M glass bubbles, our 3M™ Glass Bubbles S22 are water and oil resistant, providing better utility in underwater applications. Additionally, they are non-combustible and non-porous, so they do not absorb resin; and their low alkalinity makes this product compatible with most resins while providing a stable viscosity and a long shelf life.
These low density particles are used for many demanding applications across a wide range of industries to provide temperature and pressure resistance, reduce part weight, lower costs and enhance overall product properties. For these reasons, 3M glass bubbles are a superior alternative to many conventional fillers and additives such as silica, calcium carbonate, talc and clay.
The benefits don’t end there; although these hollow spheres have thin walls, they have an isostatic crush strength of 400 psi, making them suitable for a number of applications – tooling board, construction, paints and coatings, transportation, buoyancy and others. S22 bubbles have a fractional survival rate of 80% or more, at 400 psi for consistent performance and greater survivability. The unique spherical shape of these bubbles offers a number of important benefits, including: higher filler loading, lower viscosity/improved flow and reduced shrinkage and warpage. Adding to this product’s versatility is its ability to be easily blended into compounds, making it adaptable to a variety of production processes including spraying, casting and molding.
The favorable strength-density ratio makes 3M glass bubbles an industry standard additive for syntactic foams used in buoyancy modules, buoys or buoyancy blocks for undersea vehicles. When 3M glass bubbles are formulated with resin, the resulting syntactic foam has a high strength-to-density ratio to provide maximum net buoyancy for a given depth rating.
3M glass bubbles S22 can be used in a number of applications outside of the oil and gas industry. One popular use is in tooling board. In CNC machining, or applications where operators are trying to make a mold quickly, users start with large flat sheets that are relatively thick. By adding our glass bubbles to the tooling board, users can improve the ease of CNC machinability. With S22, users have the flexibility to find a small, lightweight additive that improves the surface detail and dimensions of the tooling board.