3M™ Glass Bubbles are inert, hollow glass microspheres that are compatible with commonly-used components of insulating and buoyancy systems. They are virtually insoluble in water – providing excellent utility in offshore applications.
The ideal combination of high strength and low density has made 3M glass bubbles an industry-standard additive for syntactic foams used in buoyancy modules, buoys or buoyancy blocks for undersea vehicles. When 3M glass bubbles are formulated with resin, the resultant syntactic foam has a high strength-to-density ratio to provide maximum net buoyancy for a given depth rating.
3M glass bubbles have pressure ratings ranging from 250 psi to 27,000 psi and average true densities ranging from 0.125 g/cc to 0.60 g/cc. When formulated with resin, the resultant syntactic foam has a high strength to density ratio to provide maximum net buoyancy for a given depth rating.
On drill risers, buoyancy modules that incorporate the use of 3M glass bubbles help prevent the steel casing from collapsing under its own weight at depth, and protect the drill string against ocean currents.
Distributed Buoyancy Modules (DBMs)
Syntactic foam DBMs made with 3M glass bubbles enable the formulation of foams with maximum lift at the required ocean depth.
Buoyancy blocks for Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs)
On ROVs, syntactic foams made with 3M Glass Bubbles allow for high net buoyancy foams rated to any ocean depth.