Poly(methyl methacrylate) hybrid syntactic foams with hollow glass microspheres and polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes

The study aims to produce poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based lower density syntactic foams with hollow glass microspheres (HGMs) and to improve their mechanical properties by the addition of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSSs) while maintaining the thermal properties of the neat polymer. First to understand the effect of POSS addition, PMMA-POSS composites with octaisobutyl and octaphenyl POSS were produced through extrusion. Higher relative flexural and impact strengths were obtained with POSS addition to PMMA. Obtaining more enhanced properties with octaphenyl POSS, PMMA-HGM-POSS hybrid syntactic foams were prepared with this additive. In general, the specific flexural strength and modulus of the PMMA syntactic foams were improved with the POSS loading, while the lower density and thermal properties of the PMMA syntactic foams were maintained. PMMA hybrid syntactic foams with 15 wt % HGMs and 0.25 wt % POSS exhibited 37.6% improvement in the specific flexural modulus with respect to the neat PMMA. (c) 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2019, 136, 48368.