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  • Design & Specialty materials
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    Less weight. More freedom.

    Offering design flexibility in anything from car parts to sporting goods, lightweighting materials from 3M can be found all around you.

    Lightweighting for Design and Specialty Materials

    • Imagine a jet aircraft that can fly farther on less fuel. A vehicle fleet with a smaller carbon footprint. A shipment of parts that costs less to transport across the world. Electronics and even engines that pack more power in less space.


      That's where we come in. Advanced materials from 3M can help you make products that are lighter. Smaller. Smarter. We can help you reduce material costs, improve manufacturing productivity and enhance consumer appeal through lightweighting – so you can do more with less.


    Featured Products

    • 3M™ Glass Bubbles

      These tiny bubbles are creating big opportunities  in a wide variety of industries. 3M™ Glass Bubbles are high-strength, low-density microspheres engineered to reduce weight in a wide variety of plastics, rubber and other polymers. They help vehicle manufacturers meet fuel efficiency targets. In oil and gas production, they help control the density of drilling fluids and buoyancy modules. Closer to home, 3M glass bubbles are used to fine-tune the balance of sporting goods ... make engineered wood easier to work with ... enable solar reflective roof coatings ... and much more!

    • 3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers

      From smartphones to smart cars, today's electronic devices pack an astounding amount of computing power in very small spaces. And that generates a lot of heat. Electrically insulating and thermally conductive 3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers can be incorporated into a wide variety of plastic components to efficiently dissipate heat in tight spaces. That means manufacturers can slim down their devices, with fewer components and more compact designs. Plus, these engineered additives are lightweight and easy to process.

    • 3M™ Nextel™ Ceramic Fibers and Textiles

      Lightweight and strong– even at high temperatures – 3M™ Nextel™ Ceramic Fibers and Textiles provide heat shielding, electrical insulation and composite reinforcement in a variety of industries. In aerospace applications, where every ounce counts, Nextel fibers and fabrics offer a lighter weight alternative to metals – either in firewalls or when used as a component in ceramic matrix composites, in engine exhaust components. In outer space, Nextel products are used as lightweight micrometeorite shielding to help protect satellites. Nextel fibers and fabrics also provide reinforcement in metal matrix composites for weight savings.

    • 3M™ Friction Shims

      Ultra-thin 3M™ Friction Shims are embedded with diamonds for a more powerful grip, offering up to 4x more torque without requiring modifications to joint designs. That means you can downsize your engine – and reduce overall vehicle weight – without sacrificing power. In addition to automotive and motor sports applications, 3M friction shims also offer versatile solutions for the wind energy sector.

    • 3M™ Silicon Nitride

      60% lighter than steel but still tough enough for some of the harshest environments on earth, 3M™ Silicon Nitride can deliver where other materials fail – all while lightening your load. This versatile ceramic material can be used in a wide variety of industries from automotive and aerospace to oil and gas. Lightweight, wear-resistant and extremely durable, components made from 3M silicon nitride help improve equipment reliability in extreme environments.


    3M Products for Lightweighting

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