Another type of foams that has been produced and studied by the group is epoxy syntactic foam. This type of foam (i.e. syntactic foam) is classified under a specialized structural foam category that is commonly used in deep sea applications. From the production of buoys up to the manufacture of float components for Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) that are utilized for unmanned deep sea operations which require foam materials to withstand immensely high hydrostatic pressure.
The work started by developing in-house methods of producing epoxy hollow spheres and then embedded them into an epoxy resin. The investigation was further progressed with experimental evaluation of the end properties of the produced foam and also supported with FEA analysis of a developed CAD model using the Representative Volume Element (RVE) approach. Also, the processing of the foam was improved from manual mould filling to vacuum-assisted processing technique that can be appreciated in the Inventions and Innovations section.
Foam properties evaluation