Improve productivity and reduce cycle time by 15–25% with low-density 3M™ Glass Bubbles – designed to reduce thermal mass for faster cooling.
The high strength and spherical shape of 3M™ Glass Bubbles give you more control over finished part dimensions – for fewer rejects, improved productivity.
The typical vehicle has 300kg of plastic parts that contribute to vehicle weight. What if you could reduce that without compromising performance or cost requirements?
Our high-strength, low-density 3M glass bubbles are designed to withstand the rigors of intense processing conditions like injection molding and extrusion, while simultaneously reducing part weight by 15% or more over conventional fillers such as calcium carbonate.
Because of their spherical shape and high strength, glass bubbles provide better flow, increased volume loading capacity and easier processing – allowing for more uniform parts with more complex geometries. In addition, they provide better dimensional stability – resisting warping and shrinkage – while shortening cycle times. The small size of the microscopic bubbles allows them to be used in high-gloss, class-A painted automotive parts.
There’s a 3M glass bubble solution for all your lightweighting applications. Contact us to find out how we can find the optimal balance of performance and cost and help you meet your lightweighting goals.
Low-density glass bubbles allow injection molders to produce parts 15% lighter than those made with conventional fillers. With a true density under 0.70 g/cc and crush strengths over 15,000 psi, 3M glass bubbles iM16K and iM30K high strength-to-weight ratios allows them to survive harsh processing conditions. Their unique shape provides design flexibility and effective density modification to suit any application.
In injection molding, long cooling times limit production capacity and increase manufacturing costs. Glass bubbles can drastically shorten mold cycle times by increasing how quickly parts cool in the mold.
Low-density glass bubbles have a lower volumetric heat capacity than that of most thermoplastic materials, which means heat diffuses far more quickly than talc or glass fiber. Temperatures are reduced by roughly 1.1°C per each weight percent (wt%) of glass bubbles added to the formulation – increasing your production throughput. See visual below of how 3M™ Glass Bubbles enable faster cooling.
The spherical shape (aspect ratio of 1.0) of glass bubbles often improves the dimensional stability of thermoplastics, demonstrating less thermal expansion warpage and differential shrinkage than conventional fillers. This means you get more consistent, more resilient parts without increasing weight.
Explore the experiments and real-world applications of 3M glass bubbles in injection molded thermoplastics.
3M glass bubbles are supported by our global sales, technical and customer service resources. Contact us for more information, including formulation assistance or questions about a specific application.