Synlam

May 27, 2009
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Syntactic foam laminate

Synlam is Cornerstone Research Group’s family of high-performance, syntactic-core, laminated composites. A unique material design and fabrication process incorporates thin layers of lightweight syntactic composite between carbon fabric layers. The syntactic core is a closed-cell foam consisting of hollow glass microspheres in a thermoset matrix. These spheres are typically 10 to 200 microns in diameter and are available in a variety of materials, including glass, ceramic, and polymers. The combination of this low-density filler with high-temperature, cyanate-ester resin drastically reduces weight while maintaining structural strength and stiffness.

The fabrication technology of Synlam incorporates traditional composite methods and novel lay-up techniques. Specific stiffness of Synlam laminate is significantly greater than that of conventional composites. Coupons of 0.07 cm thickness with 0.5g/cc density yielded a flexure modulus of 33 GPa in three-point-bend testing. This is compared with the same thickness of 100 percent carbon-fiber composite, which yielded 21.7 GPa with 1.25 g/cc. The increased area of surface adhesion between laminate and core layers provides integrity superior to that of conventional sandwich composites.

Contact: Cornerstone Research Group Inc., Dayton, OH, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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