Resilience & Compressibility
The microspheres are core-shell-like spherical particles with a thermoplastic polymer shell enveloping gas, which can be compressed under pressure, but can be easily restored to the original size after the pressure released. That accounts for its impressive resilience and thus could be applied in various fields including but not limited to thermoplastic materials as thermoplastic elastomers or rubber.
Besides, vehicle underbody coating (UBC) added with microspheres shows higher resistance against gravel; TPV sealing strip combined with microspheres shows less transmogrification against compression; wine corks containing microspheres gain stronger elasticity and thereby present better tightness.
1 Wine cork
As mentioned above, microspheres improve the performance of wine cork. Traditional cork for red wine is expensive while the smell of the cork could easily penetrate into the wine, causing wine pollution in terms of taste as well as smell. Correspondingly, as the storage time lasts longer, it is more likely that the wine will also volatile into the cork, resulting in rigidification and loss of its original function. All these negative effects could be readily resolved if microspheres could be added to cork.
The innate resilience of microspheres makes cork capable of tolerating compression and furthermore, restore into the original shape, which finally contributes to better sealing effect. Microspheres have excellent capability of expansion after which a uniform and closed cell structure come into being, enabling controlled foaming. Besides, less water absorption and permeability of microspheres definitely help avoid pollution to wine.
2 Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) Sealing Strip
It’s undoubted that automobiles have become one of the most important means of transportation in modern life. Considering its exposure to sun and rain, the proofness against wind and water are being more and more stressed. Consequently, during the manufacturing process of automobiles, sealing strips are frequently used to window/door, trunk, front cover and so on. Tightness or sealing effect comes from stress which is generated by deformation of the compressed section and tightly combined with the contact surface, so the transmogrification extent of the material will directly affect the sealing performance of the product.
Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) is an environmentally friendly new material combining high elasticity of conventional rubber with the thermoplastic processing properties of polypropylene resins. With its feature of recyclability, TPV seals will hopefully become dominant material for automotive seals. The microspheres are core-shell structured spherical particles wrapped with a thermoplastic polymer shell, which are easily compressed with a certain pressure while can be restored to its original volume as soon as the pressure get released, which means good resilience.
TPV sealing strip combined with microspheres shows less transmogrification against compression and renders the the following advantages:
- Density reduction. The combination of microspheres brings down the density of TPV to 0.6 or even 0.5 g/cm3, which perfectly matches the lightweight trend of automobiles.
- Dense foaming which is invisible to the naked eye.
- Less costs.
- Strong stability with high controllability, relatively undemanding equipment and process.
- Improved sound /heat insulation and shock absorption.