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What are Hollow Glass Microspheres Used For?

Since 2022, Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflicts have intensified, and global energy prices have risen sharply, with international natural gas prices hitting historic highs. As the most important transitional energy source in the transition from fossil energy to non-fossil energy, the share of natural gas in primary energy has increased from 14.6% in 1965 to 24.7% in 2020.  The global gas price indices showed a unilateral downward trend from 2018, bottomed out in 2020, and remained low for a long time. However, since July 2020, the global gas prices have gradually fluctuated upward, and the impact of geopolitical events made the Dutch TTF gas price even hit record highs repeatedly.

An analyst of a securities company believes that the core catalyst of this round of global gas market lies in the lack of investment in upstream oil and gas resources caused by long-term low prices. Since 2020, although the epidemic has led to a decline in demand, the decline in supply has been faster, resulting in a large inventory consumption. In 2021, demand will recover faster than supply (the supply-side is less sensitive to prices, which will be reflected in investment).  

As the world's two largest gas hollow glass microsphere are also expected to change significantly.

A hollow glass microsphere is a kind of hollow microsphere with a thin wall, high strength, and smooth surface, which is a new kind of micron-level light inorganic material developed in the 1950s and 1960s. It not only has the advantages of low density, high strength, low thermal conductivity, high wave penetration, and good stability, but also has insulation, self-lubrication, sound insulation, fire resistance, corrosion resistance, radiation, and other excellent properties that other non-metallic materials do not have.

 

Some byproducts of fly ash were found in the early years. Under the microscope, they were pearl-like hollow beads with diameters of 20~200μm and shell thickness ranging from 5% to 30% of the diameter. Its main components are SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, MgO, Na2O, and K2O. This sphere has a small specific gravity, high surface pressure, strong wear resistance, good flame retardant, and good acid resistance, high-temperature resistance, so it has been excavated out of the new function.

In the early stage of development, artificial hollow glass beads are mainly used in aerospace, national defense, and other cutting-edge applications due to their high cost.  Later, the United States and Japan took the lead in the development and mass production of hollow glass beads.

 

Now, hollow glass beads are widely used in aerospace, 5G communications, military marine, lightweight vehicles, energy-conservative building, oilfield cementing, rubber and plastic elastomers, and many other fields. Specifically,

 

In 5G communications, hollow glass beads can help improve the transmittance due to their hollow glass material with a low dielectric constant of 1.0~2.0. It can be used to make 5G base station and radome materials, 5G mobile phone frame and backplane, Internet of things equipment, etc.

 

In rubber, elastomer, and lightweight vehicles, hollow glass beads have a good role in reducing the specific gravity, rubber plastic, and other composite materials can reduce weight by 8%~10%. In addition, hollow glass beads can also effectively improve the processing performance of materials, increase rigidity and resilience, improve the material heat insulation, sound insulation, noise reduction, flame retardant, and a series of special functions, widely used in shoes, elastic pillows, car shell, special parts, and other products.

 

In the coating industry, the micron particle size of hollow glass beads and hollow microspheres effect give the paint a better heat insulation effect. Therefore, it could be used for military and aerospace equipment, oil pipeline, oil tank, communication base stations, large storage silos, etc.

As an anti-corrosion coating, the addition of hollow beads makes the product has more excellent anti-fouling, anti-corrosion, anti-ultraviolet, anti-yellowing, and anti-scratch effect, so it can be used for weatherproof sunscreen and heat insulation outdoor coatings, automotive coatings, anti-fouling coatings, anti-corrosion coatings, etc.

 

In the adhesive industry, the addition of hollow beads can reduce the density of the adhesive, reduce the volume cost, improve the rheological properties of the adhesive, improve the thixotropy and chemical corrosion resistance, and give the product better sound insulation, heat insulation, low thermal conductivity, and dielectric properties, more excellent anti-warping, anti-cracking properties. Hollow beads are widely used in silicone, epoxy resin, acrylic acid, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, and other adhesives. 

 

In addition, hollow glass beads are typically used in oilfield cementing, which has long been the most widely used field. The use of oil field cementing includes low-density drilling fluid and cementing cement. 

Low-density drilling fluids added with hollow glass beads are not only more chemically stable, but also have excellent fluidity and better lubrication, which can reduce friction during drilling, extend the service life of drill pipe and drill bit, and other equipment, but also greatly improve drilling speed and operational efficiency. Hollow glass beads are added in the cementing cement products of low density, high strength, easy flow features, is to address the low pressure, easy leakage well solid water mud loss one of the main ways of low return, can effectively control the water loss rate, prevent pollution, during 24h the compressive strength can reach more than 15Mpa, and it can improve cementing quality, prolong the life of the well.

 

Luoyang Tongrun Nano Technology Co. Ltd. (TRUNNANO) is a trusted global chemical material supplier & manufacturer with over 12-year-experience in providing super high-quality chemicals and Nanomaterials, including silicon powder, nitride powder, graphite powder, zinc sulfide, calcium nitride, 3D printing powder, etc.

If you are looking for high-quality hollow glass microspheres, please feel free to contact us and send an inquiry. (sales@cabr-concrete.com)


New Delhi: India's Oil Ministry recently conveyed its intention to five national oil companies including Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Resources LTD to assess the possibility of buying shares in Russian oil projects sold by European and American oil majors.  

Bp announced it would give up its 19.75% stake in Rosneft, the Russian oil company.  ExxonMobil said on March 1 that it would exit about $4 billion in assets and terminate all of its Russian operations, including the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia's far East.  

India's oil ministry has asked the overseas investment arm of India's Oil and Gas Corporation to consider buying ExxonMobil's 30 percent stake in the Sakhalin 1 project in Russia's far East. ExxonMobil is the operator of the project and Indian companies already have a 20 percent stake in the project.

Because of the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk hollow glass microsphere are still very uncertain.

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