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Smith Z.D.,Engineered Materials Group | Keller J.R.,Engineered Materials Group | Bello M.,Engineered Materials Group | Cordes N.L.,Engineered Materials Group | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2015

The use of an eight-experiment Plackett-Burman method can assess six experimental variables and eight responses in a polysiloxane-glass microsphere syntactic foam. The approach aims to decrease the time required to develop a tunable polymer composite by identifying a reduced set of variables and responses suitable for future predictive modeling. The statistical design assesses the main effects of mixing process parameters, polymer matrix composition, microsphere density and volume loading, and the blending of two grades of microspheres, using a dummy factor in statistical calculations. Responses cover rheological, physical, thermal, and mechanical properties. The cure accelerator content of the polymer matrix and the volume loading of the microspheres have the largest effects on foam properties. These factors are the most suitable for controlling the gel point of the curing foam, and the density of the cured foam. The mixing parameters introduce widespread variability and therefore should be fixed at effective levels during follow-up testing. Some responses may require greater contrast in microsphere-related factors. Compared to other possible statistical approaches, the run economy of the Plackett-Burman method makes it a valuable tool for rapidly characterizing new foams. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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