Everything about Microspheres
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  • Fluorescent Glass Microspheres

    Fluorescent Red Coated Soda Lime Glass MicrospheresSolid glass microspheres hemispherically coated with fluorescent coatings,  a fluorescent coating is precisely applied to half of the core sphere,  making the glass spheres appear colorful and fluorescent at daylight and exhibit bright fluorescent response under UV light.  Fluorescent coatings are available in seven standard colors, with three options for glass cores available for customers who require a fluorescent tracer of a specific emission spectra and density.  Fluorescent coatings can also be applied to other microsphere cores on special request, exact size range options vary by material.  For PIV applications that typically use green lasers (530nm) as excitation sources, we recommend utilizing our fluorescent red coating in conjunction with a 570-580nm high pass filter so only the fluorescent particles will be visible during imaging.

    Three standard core densities are:

    Borosilicate Glass Core – Density ~2.2g/cc
    Soda Lime Glass Core – Density ~2.5g/cc
    Barium Titanate Glass Core – Density ~4.5g/cc

    Seven standard fluorescent color coating options on glass with broad spectrum responses:

    Fluorescent Blue Glass (445nm peak emission) at 407nm excitation
    Fluorescent Green Glass (515nm peak emission) at 414nm excitation
    Fluorescent Yellow Glass (525nm peak emission) at 485nm excitation
    Fluorescent Orange-Yellow Glass (594nm peak emission) at 460nm excitation
    Fluorescent Orange Glass (606nm peak emission) at 577nm excitation
    Fluorescent Red Glass (607nm peak emission) at 585nm excitation
    Fluorescent Violet Glass (636nm peak emission) at 584nm excitation

  • Silane and Fluorochemical Coated Glass Spheres

    Solid glass imparts visual and material benefits that cannot be replicated when spheres are made of other materials such as ceramics or polymerics, aluminum oxides, or silicas and mineral fillers. Solid glass refracts [bends] and reflects light. Most ceramics [with exceptions] do not transmit light or exhibit specular [mirror-like] reflection due to their internal crystalline structures and surface irregularities. Instead of being reflected back, the light is “trapped” in the structure and emitted as diffuse or scattered reflectance, which is not as strong or direct as light transmitted through glass, which produces mirror-like reflectance.  Prizmalite glass spheres distributed by Cospheric offer off the shelf pre-coated spheres for enhancing these effects.

    Silane coated solid glass spheres with increased hydrophobicity are offered to improve the dispersion of spheres throughout paints and coatings.  Silane coated spheres are not recommended for pure water solutions as the spheres will be too hydrophobic to wet.

    Fluorochemical Coating is available for paint and coating applications where it is desired to bring the spheres to the top of the surface of the coating.  This is best used in applications where retro reflectance is desired.

    The following products are offered in both Silane and Fluorochemical Coating.
    P2011SL  3-6um mean diameter solid soda lime glass
    P2015SL  8-12um mean diameter solid soda lime glass
    P2050SL  35-45um mean diameter solid soda lime glass
    P2075SL 65-75um mean diameter solid soda lime glass
    P2453BTA 40-60um mean diameter solid barium titanate glass with aluminum shell.

    Solid Glass Spheres:

    • Act as mini-magnifying glasses to deliver visually truer color
    • Clarify and magnify the visual impact of pigments and metallic flakes
    • Create a richer, wetter, deeper look
    • Visually extend expensive color-shift pigments to create cost-effective new looks
    • Prop up other pigments, mica and aluminum flakes
    • Increase exposed surface area and visual impact
    • Facilitate even dispersion of colorants and reflectors
    • Are anti-mottling agents that enhance visual consistency
    • Act as mini-ball bearings to improve material flow and reduce flow lines
    • Provide color consistency from all viewing angles
  • High Density Glass Microspheres

    Barium Titanate Glass microspheres are high density solid glass spheres.  At a Density of 4.5g/cc these solid glass spheres can be used for many scientific applications where high density and optical clarity is needed.  In addition to high density they also offer an index of refraction of more than 1.9.

    Bulk quantities are available in 30-100um and 0.3-1.0mm size ranges.

    For experiments requiring the highest precision the beads can be purchased in classified grades offering >90% of the spheres within a specific size range.  Standard Sizes include the narrow ranges below.

    38-45um, 45-53um, 53-63um, 63-75um, 75-90um, 90-106um, 0.25mm-0.3mm, 0.3mm-0.35mm, 0.36mm-0.42mm, 0.43mm-0.5mm, 0.5mm-0.6mm, 0.6mm-0.7mm, 0.71mm to 0.85mm, and 0.85mm to 1.0mm.

    Product pricing and availability can be found under Cospheric’s BTGMS (barium titanate glass microspheres)

  • BioCompatability of Metal Coated Spheres

    For those scientists who are looking to use silver coated materials such as silver coated microspheres in biomedical applications, it is important to understand whether they are bio-compatable.  A selection of abstracts and article references related to the biocompatability of silver follow:

    The Biocompatibility of Silver2

    The experiments reported have referred to some of the characteristics of the biocompatibility of Ag. Silver has been shown to display interactions with albumin, as an example of a plasma protein, quite different from those of most metals. Such studies shed further light on the complex issue of protein adsorption on biomaterials. It has also been demonstrated that Ag at concentrations < 1 ppm exerts a considerable influence on the activity of lactate dehydrogenase, this effect being reversed in the presence of albumin. A significant but transient increase in blood levels of Ag following intramuscular implantation of the metal has been observed. This is not reflected in any raised urine level. It is proposed that the richly vascular tissue immediately surrounding the implant in the acute phase of the response gives rise to the transient increase, but a subsequent decrease in vascularity reduces this possibility. It appears that Ag released from implants following this initial period substantially remains in the local area.2

    Lack of toxicologocial side-effects in silver-coated megaprostheses in humans1

    Deep infection of megaprostheses remains a serious complication in orthopedic tumor surgery. Furthermore, reinfection gets a raising problem in revision surgery of patients suffering from infections associated with primary endoprosthetic replacement of the knee and hip joint. These patients will need many revision surgeries and in some cases even an amputation is inevitable. Silver-coated medical devices proved their effectiveness on reducing infections, but toxic side-effects concerning some silver applications have been described as well. Our study reports about a silver-coated megaprosthesis for the first time and can exclude side-effects of silver-coated orthopedic implants in humans. The silver-levels in the blood did not exceed 56.4 parts per billion (ppb) and can be considered as non-toxic. Additionally we could exclude significant changes in liver and kidney functions measured by laboratory values. Histopathologic examination of the periprosthetic environment in two patients showed no signs of foreign body granulomas or chronic inflammation, despite distant effective silver concentrations up to 1626 ppb directly related to the prosthetic surface. In conclusion the silver-coated megaprosthesis allowed a release of silver without showing any local or systemic side-effects.1

    Specific Article References for the biocompatability of silver are below: See the References

  • High Index of Refraction Retroreflective Glass Microspheres

    Retro-reflective MicrospheresBarium Titanate Glass Microspheres are excellent for use as a functional retro reflective additive  to paints and coatings.  Spheres with sizes of about 50 micron (~0.002 inches) mean diameter provide a small enough size for most coatings while offering a large enough size to reflective a significant amount of light.  Barium Titanate Glass Spheres are offered in both partially aluminum coated retro-reflective version for addition into transparent coatings, or as uncoated glass spherical powder for uses in colored paints.

    Barium Titanate Glass microbeads offers one of the highest indexes of refraction with an IR greater than 1.9 which provides high intensity retroreflectivity from these spheres.

    For those applications calling for a high density filler, barium titanate glass spheres offer a density of 4.5g/cc, that is almost double that of the more common soda lime glass spheres.   In addition to a high density, barium titanate glass spheres have a hardness of about 55-65 on the Gardner scale and a crush strength of over 30,000 psi (207 Mpa) making these spheres very durable in high wear environments.

    The spheres offered by Cospheric as product ID:  BTGMS (uncoated ) and P2453BTA (aluminized) are produced in the USA, and are Lead free.