From 04/24/2014 through 10/8/2012
1. “Microsphere are small spherical particles, with diameters in the micrometer range (typically 1 μm to 1000 μm (1 mm)). Microspheres are sometimes referred to as microparticles.
Microspheres can be manufactured from various natural and synthetic materials. Glass microspheres, polymer microspheres and ceramic microspheres are commercially available. Solid and hollow microspheres vary widely in density and, therefore, are used for different applications. Hollow microspheres are typically used as additives to lower the density of a material. Solid microspheres have numerous applications depending on what material they are constructed of and what size they are.
Polyethylene, polystyrene and expandable microspheres are the most common types of polymer microspheres.
Polystyrene microspheres are typically used in biomedical applications due to their ability to facilitate procedures such as cell sorting and immunio precipitation. Proteins and ligands adsorb onto polystyrene readily and permanently, which makes polystyrene microspheres suitable for medical research and biological laboratory experiments.
Polyethylene microspheres are commonly used as a permanent or temporary filler. Lower melting temperature enables polyethylene microspheres to create porous structures in ceramics and other materials. High sphericity of polyethylene microspheres, as well as availability of colored and fluorescent microspheres, makes them highly desirable for flow visualization and fluid flow analysis, microscopy techniques, health sciences, process troubleshooting and numerous research applications. Charged polyethylene microspheres are also used in electronic paper digital displays.
Expandable microspheres are polymer microspheres that are used as a blowing agent in e.g. puff ink, automotive underbody coatings and injection molding of thermoplastics. They can also be used as a lightweight filler in e.g. cultured marble, waterborne paints and crack fillers/joint compound. Expandable polymer microspheres can expand to more than 50 times their original size when heat is applied to them. The exterior wall of each sphere is a thermoplastic shell that encapsulates a low boiling point hydrocarbon. When heated, this outside shell softens and expands as the hydrocarbon exerts a pressure on the internal shell wall.
Glass microspheres are primarily used as a filler and volumizer for weight reduction, retro-reflector for highway safety, additive for cosmetics and adhesives, with limited applications in medical technology.
Ceramic microspheres are used primarily as grinding media.
Microspheres vary widely in quality, sphericity, uniformity, particle size and particle size distribution. The appropriate microsphere needs to be chosen for each unique application.”
(Wikipedia, Microspheres, 10/8/2012)
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Roger D. Corneliussen
Maro Polymer Links
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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is10/8/2012.