1. 3M Products

3M™ Glass Bubbles A16/500

3M Product Number A16/5003M ID B40064644
  • Lower viscosity, improved flow
  • Increased filler loading, reduced cost
  • VOC reduction
  • Chemical stability and inertness
 More...
Product Details

3M™ Glass Bubbles A16/500 have a density of 0.16 g/cm³ and an isostatic crush strength of 500 psi / 34 bar. They have less than 1% sinkers ( >1.0 g/cm³ density particles) by volume and are surface treated to be compatible with buoyancy module manufacturing. Like other 3M™ Glass Bubbles in our floated product series, this product is ideal for use in a number of aerospace and oil and gas applications.

A Great Product Rises to the Top
3M™ Glass Bubbles A16/500 is part of the floated product series and has less than 1% sinkers by volume. This means that we get 99% floaters by volume using a universally held process to assure that you get perfectly formed 3M™ Glass Bubbles, not sinkers. Here’s how it works: we put a population of bubbles of a given specification into water and take only the ones that float to the top. This is the oldest, simplest and perhaps most reliable method to ensure bubbles are whole and intact, while improving the strength-to-density ratio. In short – we take only the cream of the crop and give you bubbles that are less dense at the same nominal strength.

3M™ Glass Bubbles Floated Series
3M glass bubbles in our floated series offer the same combination of strength and light weight as standard 3M glass bubbles, with an added surface treatment. A16/500 glass bubbles have methacrylato chromic chloride surface treatment. This special coupling agent expands this product’s uses. It can be used in high-tech applications such as aerospace and hydrospace syntactic foam and radomes. Glass bubbles in the floated series are available in a variety of sizes and grades for various product and processing requirements.

Strength-to-Weight Ratio
The benefits don’t end there; although 3M glass bubbles A16/500 have thin walls, they have good isostatic crush strength of 500 psi, meaning they can survive both the rigorous demands of processing and water pressure at depth. A16/500 bubbles have a fractional survival rate of 80% or more, at 500 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.

Aerospace Void Filler
3M glass bubbles A16/500 can be used for many applications including aerospace void filler. Airplanes are constructed with many types of lightweight, honeycomb composite structures and panels. Our A16/500 glass bubbles are used to make these parts, especially when it is necessary to create lightweight, functional and strong parts that can stand up to the rigors of air travel.

What are 3M Glass Bubbles?
Our 3M glass bubbles are engineered hollow glass microspheres that are alternatives to conventional fillers and additives such as silica, calcium carbonate, talc and clay. These low-density particles are used in a wide range of industries for many demanding applications to reduce part weight, lower costs and enhance product properties.

The spherical shape of 3M glass bubbles offers a number of important benefits, including: higher filler loading, lower viscosity/improved flow, and reduced shrinkage and warpage. Additionally, the spherical shape helps the glass bubbles readily blend into compounds, making them adaptable to a variety of production processes, including spraying, casting and molding. They also offer greater survivability under demanding processing conditions, such as extrusion, injection molding and other high shear mixing processes.

The chemically stable soda-lime-borosilicate glass composition of 3M glass bubbles provides excellent water resistance. These bubbles are non-combustible and non-porous, so they do not absorb resin; and their low alkalinity gives 3M glass bubbles compatibility with most resins, stable viscosity and long shelf life.

Typical Applications

  • Deep water syntactic foams
  • Aerospace
  • Hydrospace
  • Potting compounds
  • Sporting goods
  • Light-weighting

  • Lower viscosity, improved flow
  • Increased filler loading, reduced cost
  • VOC reduction
  • Chemical stability and inertness
  • Reduced dielectric constant
  • Thermal conductivity reduction
  • Temperature resistance
Specifications
Industries
Rubber and Plastic
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