SCF-III Conference to Focus on Syntactic Foams and Composite Foams Market

The first international conference on Syntactic and Composite Foams (SCF-I), under the auspices of ECI, Inc. was held in Banff, Canada in August of 2004 and was very successful.

Manufacturers of syntactic foam components had the opportunity to interact with applications specialists and academicians and numerous connections and collaborative efforts have ensued. The papers presented at the conference were published, after peer review, in a special issue of the Journal of Materials Science. The second conference in this series (SCF-II), sponsored by ECI, was held in Davos, Switzerland in 2007. That was also a very successful meeting and the papers presented at the conference were again published in Journal of Materials Science. The proposed third conference, SCF-III, in this series will provide a continued forum for discussions in this rapidly growing field of syntactic foams and composite foams. Syntactic foams and rigid polymer, metal, and ceramic foams containing a reinforcing and/or functional phase are the intended focus of this conference. These foams are typically used in applications that take advantage of their low density, very high specific properties, tailored pore structure, enhanced energy absorption characteristics, and flame retardant properties. The scope of the conference will include the production and characterization of reinforcing and functional materials specifically used for these foams (i.e. hollow spheres, micro/nanoparticles, particles with specific electric, magnetic, dielectric properties, biological, etc.). Fabrication, characterization, modeling, and applications of the foams will be addressed, as well.

Work in syntactic foams has expanded considerably over the past three decades or so from its inception with two-phase polymer matrix foams based upon hollow glass or polymer spheres for applications in the marine and submarine industry. Today, the field includes polymer, metal and ceramic hollow spheres and matrices. In addition, with fibers, nanoparticles and interstitial voids engineered into these materials, three and four-phase materials are now possible. Composite foams have grown out of conventional blown polymer foams to now include the addition of diverse functional elements, resulting in complex microstructures that can be engineered to meet specific applications. Composite foams, particularly with biodegradable polymer or bioactive ceramic matrices, for example, are being increasingly developed for a range of biomedical applications, drug delivery systems and tissue engineering scaffolds. Also, blown polymer foams are now used as precursor structures for metal and ceramic composite foams and advances in production techniques for the various component materials have resulted in advances in the mechanical, acoustic and thermal properties of these foams that have dramatically broadened their applications.

Thus by incorporating hollow and solid particles, nanoparticles, fibers, and specialized foaming agents, coupled with novel processing techniques, foams with unique and tailored properties can be attained. Because of such innovations, the role of syntactic and composite foams has expanded into the aerospace, automotive, communications, biomedical, electronics, sporting, and transportation industries.

Papers from SCF III will again be published in an appropiate, peer-reviewed journal. Deadline for manuscripts submission will be September 5, 2011.

Conference Organization:

The conference chair is Dr. Gary Gladysz (Trelleborg Offshore US, Inc., USA) and the co-chairs are Professor Krishan Chawla (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) and Professor Aldo Boccaccini (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany).

The Organizing Committee consists of:

Lorenzo Bardella (University of Brescia, Italy), Kipp Carlisle (Trelleborg Offshore Boston, USA), Paolo Colombo (University of Bologna, Italy), Nikhil Gupta (Polytechnic University, USA), Mark Koopman (Harvard University, USA), Loong Yin Leng (Asia Pacific Microspheres , Malaysia), Jan.Luyten (VITO, Belgium), Daniel Mendoza (Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA), Michele Modesti (University of Padova, Italy), Guenter Stephani (Fraunhofer Institute, Dresden, Germany), Eyassu Woldesenbet (Louisiana State University, USA).

Preliminary Technical Program

Technical sessions are planned for the following topics:

  • Biomaterials
  • Composite foam-based structures
  • Blast, ballistic and high strain rate
  • Green technology (natural fibers and fillers, non-petroleum polymers, green energy applications)
  • Aerospace
  • Inertial fusion targets
  • Electric and acoustic
  • Buoyancy and subsea
  • Sensor and Smart Foams
  • Process and mechanical modeling
  • Thermal management and protection
  • Tooling and Thermoforming


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