3M™ Glass Bubbles XLD3000 are hollow glass spheres with a typical density of 0.23 g/cc and an isostatic crush strength of 3,000 psi. These glass bubbles are designed for numerous applications such as deep water syntactic foams and airless spray coatings. The bubbles produce strong, stable voids with low thermal conductivity, helping the coating achieve the necessary compressive strength.
What are 3M™ Glass Bubbles?
Our 3M™ Glass Bubbles XLD3000 are engineered hollow glass spheres made from water-resistant and chemically-stable soda-lime borosilicate glass. Like all 3M™ Glass Bubbles, our XLD3000 glass bubbles 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.
3M glass bubbles are a superior alternative to many conventional fillers and additives such as silicas, calcium carbonate, talc, clay and other materials used in demanding applications. Our low-density spheres are used in a wide range of industries to reduce part weight, lower costs and enhance product properties – making them more reliable and affordable.
The benefits don’t end there; although these hollow spheres have thin walls, they have an impressive isostatic crush strength of 3,000 psi, making them suitable for a number of buoyancy applications, including additives in buoys and moorings. XLD3000 has a fractional survival rate of 90% at 3,000 psi for consistent performance and greater survivability.
Notably, 3M glass bubbles XLD3000 are lower density 3,000 psi glass bubbles that offer significantly less weight, for better thermal conductivity at a given depth rating. These glass bubbles provide significantly lower density for better thermal conductivity at a given depth rating compared with higher density 3,000 psi glass bubbles.
Airless Spray Coatings
3M glass bubbles XLD3000 bubbles can be used in many applications. One area where they excel is in airless spray coatings. Here’s how it works – an airless spray pumps a liquid that shoots through a nozzle. When bubbles are added to a coating, they have to survive this process and remain intact, meaning it’s important to pick bubbles on the basis of strength. Our bubbles offer sufficient strength at a minimal density.
In general most of airless spray equipment is in the 2,500-4,000 psi range. Our XLD3000 may work well for airless spray depending upon the formulation. It’s not just the fact that it has a 3,000 psi rating, this bubble has an average diameter of 30 microns, and 0.23 g/cc density. This unique combination of strength, overall particle size and density means this bubble may be well suited for airless spray coatings.
Pushing the Limits: a Proud History of Innovation
Hollow glass bubble technology was developed by 3M in the 1960s. Riser buoyancy modules and wet pipe flowline insulation using the first glass bubble-filled syntactic foams were capable of surviving down to 5,000 feet below sea level. Today, advancements in the strength-density ratio of glass bubbles enable these materials to be used down to 10,000 feet and development efforts are rapidly progressing to extend those capabilities to 13,000-15,000 feet, and beyond.