Engineers are often faced with challenging choices—strength or lightness, flexibility or durability, thermal resistance or physical strength—presented by the limitations of the materials they're working with. But a team of engineers at 3M tackled these challenges head-on, creating advanced composites that can help meet some of the most demanding standards.
While the composites industry focuses on reducing the cost of carbon fibers, 3M scientists took an alternate approach, focusing on the thermoset resin to create stronger composites with less fiber. Through nanoparticle modification, 3M disrupted the relationship between toughness and surface temperature and enabled the creation of higher modulus resins to improve the compressive and tensile properties of fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) laminates. In developing 3M’s advanced resins portfolio, our scientists focused on the usability of these advanced resins in current composite manufacturing processes. The result is a full portfolio of resins that can be used directly in a wide range of manufacturing operations including everything from filament winding to resin transfer molding (RTM).
Take carbon fiber composites for example, a material whose high strength and low weight has had a revolutionary impact on everything from bicycle frames to aircraft fuselages. Our matrix resin technology helped improve carbon fiber composite properties by improving the resin properties. This improved the laminate strength, stiffness and toughness allowing engineers to reduce the carbon fiber required to produce lighter parts at a lower cost.
Imagine making, longer, stronger, stiffer, lighter and more durable composite parts without modification to your existing processes…and reducing your total manufacturing costs at the same time. That’s how we’re rewriting the rules.