Date of Award
Master of Science
Syntactic foams are hollow particles-filled lightweight composites that are widely used in areas that require high strength while maintaining low weight and density. These foams are highly tailorable materials whose properties can be altered during the manufacturing process by changing various parameters like matrix and microballoon material type, size, distribution, as well as the volume fraction and wall thickness of microballoons. Therefore, understanding the effect of these parameter changes in the behavior of syntactic foams is very important to manufacture the foam for different applications. In the present study, syntactic foams of various volume fractions of microballoons were fabricated and different mechanical testing was conducted to study their elastic and viscoelastic behavior. Moreover, density, void content, and microstructure of the syntactic foam with varying volume fractions of microballoons were also studied to better characterize these foams. Results show that changes in the volume fraction of the microballoons had a significant impact on the elastic and viscoelastic behavior of the foams. The introduction of the microballoons into the epoxy resin decreased the density of the epoxy resin by up to 43.36% and at the same time increasing the specific modulus by up to 21.059%. In addition, representative 3D models of these syntactic foams were also developed to further study the elastic behavior of these materials which were found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. These findings will help in designing and optimizing the material properties of the syntactic foam required for different applications.
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