blue mesh background banner

Composite Finishing for Specialty Vehicles

Composites, which are plastics usually comprised of a fiber or fabric and a resin, provide excellent strength-to-weight ratios, making them ideal for travel trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, motorhomes, RVs, box trucks, delivery trucks, refrigerated trucks and emergency vehicles. Achieve integrated solutions for fabricating, bonding and protecting composite structures including SMC/fiberglass to meet exacting specialty vehicle design requirements with 3M.

Worker wearing PPE using 3M Random Orbital Sander to finish composites

Sanding Composites

  • 3M offers a comprehensive line of abrasive discs and hand pads which helping you achieve a clean, efficient, and smooth sanding job for composite materials.

    Applications for Sanding Composites:

    • Shaping Body Filler: Produce consistent body aesthetics on a composite surface by selecting an easy-to-use 3M body filler that reduces micro-pinholes helping to prime for a flawlessly smooth paint job.
    • Preparing Surfaces for Bonding: Choosing the correct adhesive to bond surfaces on your vehicle can be challenging due to the low surface energies of various materials. Using 3M primers and adhesion promoters allows one end of the molecule to bond to low-surface-energy materials and the other to bond with the adhesives, resulting in a parament bond on a variety of composite surfaces.
    • Removing Draw Lines: During the specialty vehicle manufacturing process, there are often draw lines in the molded composite as a result of plastic flowing through the mold. These slight deformations on the surface of the truck or trailer must be removed before paint is applied to avoid visible bumps on the exterior of the specialty vehicle.
    • Removing Defects from Composites: During many points in the specialty vehicle manufacturing process, a defect in your composite material can cause complications and affect the exterior of the vehicle. Our abrasive discs are a combination of science and strength — smooth, flexible, durable and ideal for specialty vehicle body finishing work that the customer will be proud of.
    • Deglossing Resin: Oftentimes in the process of manufacturing a specialty vehicle, you must remove the shine on the composite surface to prep for paint or so materials can bond together. With 3M conformable yet durable abrasive disks, you are able to degloss epoxy resin and prepare your surfaces for paint without damaging the base material. In addition to an abrasive system that delivers consistent results for the life of the product, 3M can provide a variety of you have the respiratory protection solutions to help keep your workers safe during the deglossing process.

    View all Sanding Composite Products

Other Composite Finishing Applications for Specialty Vehicles

  • Oftentimes in the specialty vehicle design and manufacturing, excess molding compound, flash, or resin bleed from the forming of body panels that must be removed. 3M Abrasive Solutions help easily eliminate unwanted material, leaving the vehicle with a uniform finish.

  • For efficient metal preparation prior to painting and finishing, 3M offers a comprehensive line of durable abrasive products. After your paint job is complete, our portfolio of abrasives, buffing pads and compounds will leave the vehicle with smooth, polished surfaces.

  • The 3M family of body fillers is engineered to meet the demands of nearly every customer. From work-saving innovations like 3M™ Platinum™ Select, which reduces micro-pinholes by 90%, to classic workhorse classics like 3M™ Lightweight Body Filler there’s a 3M body filler that delivers the balance of performance and price you need.

Safety Products for Composite Finishing of Specialty Vehicles

  • Man wearing respiratory mask and eye glasses while sanding

    Help keep your workers protected with 3M’s wide range of personal protective equipment. Our industry leading eye protection, hearing protection solutions, respirators and protective coveralls can help you protect your employees and allow them to finish composites in a quick and safe manner.

    View Safety Products for Composite Finishing of Specialty Vehicles


Specialty Vehicles Support

Our technical service representatives are available to assist customers in using 3M products in the most effective way possible. They can help you with employee training as well as consultations regarding product efficiency, automated solutions and other issues related to 3M products.