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    3M Lightweighting solutions for manufacturers

    Bonding Composite Materials and Lightweighting

    Reducing product weight can lower manufacturing costs, improve energy consumption, and enhance aesthetics. 3M Design Specialists can help.

    Ask a 3M Expert

    Reducing product weight with material decisions

    • With government regulations requiring ever increasing fuel economy standards automakers are leading the way in applying lightweighting technology. 3M and Automotive Engineering International teamed up to find out which technologies and materials will be most effective in helping manufacturers meet their weight reduction goals.
    Composites infographic
    Composites rank among the most favorable materials for lightweighting

    Engineering professionals voted on which materials would be most beneficial for lightweighting

    Read the Full Study

    • 3M solutions for joining and bonding composite parts in lightweight designs

      Adhesives for Composite Material Applications

      Substrates, such as metal and plastic, can have significantly different physical and chemical properties that must be accommodated in new, lighter weight designs. Download the whitepaper to learn more about bonding composite parts.

      Read the Whitepaper (PDF, 798.5 KB)

      Learn more about bonding composites with adhesives

    • 3M solutions for joining plastic to metal

      Joining Plastic to Metal

      As design engineers seek out more materials that will aid in lightweighting, challenges with bonding dissimilar materials can arise due to differences in chemical properties. Download the article about 'New Techniques for Joining Plastic to Metal' to explore how manufacturers are using tapes and adhesives to bond dissimilar materials.

      Read the Article (PDF, 553.6 KB)

      Bonding Dissimilar Materials Page

    • 3M tapes and adhesives for lightweighting

      Tapes and Adhesives for Lightweighting

      Strength. Durability. Longevity. Versatility. 3M adhesives and tapes can be the ideal solution for bonding composites, plastics, and other lightweighting materials.

      Shop Bonding Products


    Four challenges to consider when reducing product weight with substrates

    • Noisy Substrates
      Lightweighting of substrates can produce noise of greater frequency and higher pitch, which can create perceptions of lower quality or decreased safety. 3M has products that can be used to provide sound damping, thereby decreasing excessive frequency and pitch.
    • Flexible Substrates
      Lightweighting substrates can be more flexible but also weaker, so some products may need reinforcement to increase strength. However, the reinforcing materials must be light-weight enough to provide a net reduction in product weight. 3M adhesion technology can be used to achieve this in a variety of applications such as small appliances, handheld tools, electronics and signage.
    • Heat Susceptibility of Substrates
      Heat and flame resistance are critical considerations in designing products as diverse as hair dryers, vacuums, snowmobiles and commercial vehicle battery cables. Some applications may require overall heat resistance while others need one-time protection from a flame event at the end of product life. When lightweighting, if a new substrate is susceptible to heat or flame, 3M foil tapes may provide the necessary protection.
    • Visual Appearance of Substrates
      A change to lightweighting substrates, especially from metal to plastic, can significantly change the appearance of products and create the perception of reduced quality. However, this can be addressed by adding veneers to new substrates or products to enhance their aesthetics and consumer appeal. Decorative film solutions from 3M can be used on products such as consumer electronics or large home appliances to make plastic surfaces more visually appealing.
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