3M Glass Bubbles for Commercial and Specialty Vehicles

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2 Products

Net Weight (Imperial)

Net Weight (Metric)

Crush Strength (Imperial)

Crush Strength (Metric)

Typical Density

Typical Median Particle Diameter

3M™ Glass Bubbles iM16K 3M™ Glass Bubbles S38HS
Semi -Truck Diagram
A little lightweighting goes a long way

In the transportation industry, every little bit of mass counts. Strategic, intelligent vehicle lightweighting is key to helping OEMs improve their fuel economy and battery range, control emissions and maximize fleet efficiency and cost effectiveness.


Reduce your part weight by up to 45%

Learn how to reduce part weight without compromising functionality or strength with the help of 3M™ Glass Bubbles. They can be added to sheet and bulk molding composites, injection molded thermoplastics and other exterior and interior components to help you save mass while achieving mechanical integrity. By displacing costly resins, they can also allow you to manage manufacturing costs.

3M™ Glass Bubbles come in various sizes, densities and compressive strengths. Excellent strength-to-density ratios let them withstand high shear, high pressure processes including compounding, injection molding and extrusion.

Application areas

  • Lightweight your vehicle design by replacing steel or aluminum parts with ultralightweight sheet molding composites (SMC) made with 3M™ Glass Bubbles. They can help you lower SMC density below 1.0 g/cc and reduce part weight by up to 45%. Compatible with compression molding as well as Class A paintable surface finishes, 3M™ Glass Bubbles can be used in hoods, body panels, deflectors and other exterior SMC parts.

  • 3M™ Glass Bubbles can help you reduce weight in thermoplastics by up to 15% while enhancing your processing efficiency. They possess excellent crush strengths to withstand high shear, high pressure injection molding, and they enable faster cooling to help shorten cycle times by 15–25%. With a low coefficient of thermal expansion, they can also help you improve dimensional stability to mitigate warpage in under-the-hood parts.

  • In hybrid and electric fleet vehicles, you can lightweight heavy battery casings by adding 3M™ Glass Bubbles to SMC battery enclosures, battery cushioning materials and other components. In potting resins, 3M™ Glass Bubbles can allow you to enhance thermal insulation while maintaining low viscosity for improved flow characteristics and processing.

Let’s get started

Request a sample and see how 3M™ Glass Bubbles can help you lightweight your vehicle design. 3M transportation experts will assist in identifying a suitable grade for your application needs.