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3M™ Glass Bubbles for Automotive Lightweighting

Lightweighting plays an increasingly important role in the automotive industry, as manufacturers seek to improve fuel economy and battery range. 3M™ Glass Bubbles can reduce the density of many interior and exterior automotive components, from pillar trim and central consoles to the hood, fenders, tire tubs and much more – all contributing to a lower overall vehicle weight.

 

The advantages of these high-strength, low-density additives go beyond lightweighting: they also help improve dimensional stability, reduce thermal expansion, and increase surface hardness and abrasion resistance. In addition, 3M glass bubbles contribute to processing improvements, higher throughput and cost savings through resin reduction. 


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Lightweighting Applications

  • Injection Molded Parts

    3M offers high strength hollow glass microspheres that can withstand the requirements of the injection-molding process, despite their low density. They can be incorporated into a wide variety of plastics to drive down weight while maintaining desirable physical properties.

  • Sheet Molded Composites (SMC)

    3M glass bubbles reduce the density of standard SMCs/BMCs to below 1.0 g/cc enabling weight reductions of as much as 40%.

  • Lightweight Plastisol for Seam Seals and Coatings

    Seam Sealing & Underbody Coatings

    3M glass bubbles can reduce the weight of underbody coating and seam sealer by up to 50% - contributing to lower overall vehicle weight. 


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Glass Bubbles Lightweighting Videos


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