Syntactic and Composite Foams V

An ECI Conference Series

March 26-31, 2017
Grand Hotel Minareto
Siracusa, Italy

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About This Conference

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 fabrication, characterization, modeling, and applications of the foams; 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, thermal, biological, etc.).  SCF-V will include a new session topic: Renewables and Sustainability.  This will include the used of bio-based renewable material in foam formulations, “light-weighting” application for improved energy efficiency as well as well as important application of composite foams in renewable energy applications.

Work in syntactic foams has expanded 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 has expanded to include 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. 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.

History:  The first international conference on Syntactic and Composite Foams (SCF-I), under the auspices of ECI, Inc. was held in Banff, Canada in August,  2004 and was quite 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. SCF-III, held in Calabria, Italy in 2011, was the third in this series; it provided a continued forum for discussions in this rapidly growing field of syntactic foams and composite foams.  Although all of the SCF conferences have demonstrated the essence of the camaraderie that an ECI format can bring; SCF-IV in Santa Fe, NM, USA stood above the rest.  There was an extraordinary amount of interaction during the presentations, social events, and free-time. The proposed SCF-V will build on the foundation from the previous four.

Outline of Conference:  The conference is designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature to encourage participation from universities, industry (research and manufacturing), and government labs. The session outline below is very general and will be refined as papers are submitted. In each session there will be an invited or keynote speaker (except for the poster session and the round table discussion).


Session 1: Interfaces, Reinforcements, and Performance
Session 2:  Fabrication/Characterization of Particles and Hollow Spheres


Session 3: Renewables and Sustainability
Session 4:  Processing and Modeling Foam-Based Composites


Session 5: Syntactic and Composite Foams – Characterization
This afternoon is generally left free for an outdoor excursion
Session 6:  Poster Session


Session 7:  Syntactic and Composite Foams – Characterization
Session 8:  Emerging Applications and Characterization Methods


Round Table Discussion

Below are tentative areas that we will try to cover in this conference:

  • Biomedical
  • Composite foam-based structures
  • Blast, ballistic and protection
  • Functional foams and green technology
  • Aerospace
  • Electric and acoustic
  • Bio-based composite foam materials (natural fibers and fillers, non-petroleum polymers)
  • Foams and sustainability (green energy applications)
  • Buoyancy and subsea
  • Sensors
  • Process and mechanical modeling
  • Thermal management and protection
  • Tooling and Thermoforming

Conference Organization

ChairGary M. Gladysz, PhD  (Empyreus Solutions, LLC);

Co-Chair USA – Krishan K.  Chawla, PhD (Materials Science & Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham);

Co-Chair Europe Aldo R. Boccaccini, PhD (Institute of Biomaterials, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg);

Co-Chair Asia Manabu Fukushima, PhD ((National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST);

Organizing Committee

Lorenzo Bardella (University of Brescia)
Aldo Boccaccini (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Kipp Carlisle (Trelleborg)
Krish Chawla (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
Paolo Colombo (University of Padova)
Manabu Fukushima (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST))
Gary Gladysz (Empyreus Solutions, LLC)
Nikhil Gupta (New York University – Polytechnic)
Majdi Haddad (Cuming Corp.)
Jessica Hanley (Bluestar Silicones)
Mark Koopman (University of Utah)
Dirk Lehmhus (University of Bremen)
Daniel Mendoza (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Karana Shah (Dixie Chemical)

Sponsor Packages

Click HERE to view the Sponsor Packages available for this conference.

Abstract Submission

Original papers for oral and poster presentations are encouraged. Those who wish to be considered for an oral or poster presentation should submit a one-page (extended) abstract online.


Oral Abstract Submission Deadline:                November 15, 2016
Poster Abstract Submission Deadline:            November 30, 2016

All abstracts should be submitted electronically at THIS SITE.

Submissions must follow the template provided at this link.

Conference Venue

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy
Thanks to its geographical position, at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has always been a crossroads for different people and cultures. From the grumbling, lava-filled volcano of Mount Etna to the ancient Greek temples of Agrigento, Sicily is a land of natural and man-made beauty.

The countryside is filled with nature reserves and vineyards, all in a near-perfect climate, mild all year round, with an average rainfall among the lowest in Europe. But Sicily is not just about nature. The Greek temples, the Byzantine, Norman and Roman monuments, the cities of Palermo, Taormina, Catania, Siracusa and Agrigento, are places where the past and the present blend into an idyllic ensemble. Sicily surprises visitors at every step with its gorgeous beauty and immense cultural heritage. A huge number of castles and manors, private villas, ancient chapels and churches are there to be explored.

The town of Siracusa (45 km from Catania), known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city was founded in 734 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and soon grew to rival, and even surpass, Athens in splendor and power. Siracusa became the largest, wealthiest city-state in the West and a bulwark of Greek civilization.

A World Heritage Site, this was the second Greek colony to be founded in Sicily in the second half of the 8th century B.C. Today, Siracusa is one of the most interesting cities in Sicily – the cradle of an incredible variety of art styles: from ancient Greek plays to the baroque. Crisscrossed by two legendary rivers, the Ciane and the Ananapo. Siracusa’s beauty and the mythology of the land have inspired poets and writers from Cicero to d’Annunzio.

Conference Hotel – Grand Hotel Minareto
A luxury, five-star seaside resort located near the island of Ortigia, The Grand Hotel Minareto is perched next to the crystal-clear waters of the Plemmirio Nature Reserve. There is a magnificent view of Siracusa which is just across the bay from the hotel and Mt. Etna seems to float in the sky above Siracusa..

The resort’s 93 rooms and 4 suites are cottages scattered around the luxurious Mediterranean grounds, a splendid setting dominated by the sea and the sky. The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants, a pool, private beach and spa. Rooms are air-conditioned and have televisions, mini-bars, safes and other amenities.


Transporation Options from the Catania Airport to the Grand Hotel Minareto

Siracusa is in the southeast corner of Sicily, on Sicily’s east coast, about an hour south of Catania.  The closest airport to the Grand Hotel Minareto is Catania-Vincenzo Bellini Airport (CTA, It is 69 km from the hotel (about a one-hour drive).

You have several choices of transportation: Individual transfer, group transfer, train (and taxi), bus (and taxi), and rental car.

Rossella Anello ( of Liberty Incentives and Congresses, Italy is the contact person for those wanting to book transportation from the Catania Airport to the Gran Hotel Minareto.  Do not contact her for train, bus or rental cars.

Individual and Group Transfers

You can choose an individual transfer or a group transfer.  The group transfer will be organized by the expected time of arrival at Catania Airport within the range of one hour.  For example, if two people are arriving at 11:30 am and 6 people are arriving at 12:00 pm, then the transfer would be 8 people.  The rate of a “group” transfer is €45 per person for arrival hours between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.  For arrivals between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am there is a night supplement of 30%.

An individual transfer (for one – three persons) in a private vehicle with driver is €90.  The night supplement is 30%.

Other requests will be quoted individually by Ms. Anello.

Please use this form when contacting Ms. Anello.

By Train

From Catania Station (Taxis can transport you from the airport to the train station) take a train to Syracuse (Siracusa). There are hourly trains from the train station in Catania to the train station in Siracusa.  The train ride is approximately 85 minutes.  Taxis can be hired at the Siracusa station for transfer to the hotel (about a 10-minuted drive). For schedules and fares visit

Siracusa’s train station is on Via G. Rubino (where Corso Umberto I and Via Ermocrate come together) in the “New City” mainland.  It is just south of the archaeological zone and about a dozen blocks west of the bridges to Ortigia (the “old town” on an island).

By Bus

Interbus ( runs buses to Sircusa regularly during the week from Catania to Siracusa and less frequently on Sundays.  Please visit their website for details.  This is the most economical way, although you will need to add a taxi at each end of your journey.

By rental car

From the Catania-Siracusa highway (114 SS) take the “Siracusa” exit.  At the roundabout at the Viale Paolo Orsi, turn to the right, Via Columba, (where there is a median strip of palms, and on the left you will see a McDonalds)and go straight until the crossroads where you make a right onto Via Elorina (on the left you will see a Bingo).  Pass the Agip and QB petrol stations on your right and after about 500 meters pass the QB you will see a crossroads with a religious icon, where you turn left for the Via Lido Sacramento (at the crossroad you will see a sign for the Minareto and Nesos)) exit to Faro Carrozziere.  Go straight on the coastal road (Via Maddalena/Via del Faro Massolivieri) for about 4 kilometers and the hotel will be on the right.

General Information

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Engineering Conferences International
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