Syntactic foams (hollow glass microspheres embedded in an organic matrix) were traditionally dedicated to buoyancy applications and are now used for thermal insulation purpose. The paper focuses on the hygrothermal ageing of such materials with model diepoxy/diamine thermoset matrix having high Tg and controlled architecture revealed by the mechanical and thermal properties and by gravimetric measurements. The ageing of syntactic foams of different volume fractions is studied under the combination of both high pressure / high temperature conditions (up to 300 bar / 100°C) to discuss the factors governing the long-term performance of these materials. Attention is paid to the degradation phenomenon observed on the foam after matrix has reached saturation and associated with markedly increase of mass gain. This study points out how the hydrolytic ageing of glass microspheres may reduce the durability of syntactic foams used in hot wet conditions.

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