Technologies

Choose a technology below to see how our ideas live on, in connection with others, to help solve problems around the world.

Technologies

Choose a technology below to see how our ideas live on, in connection with others, to help solve problems around the world.

Ceramics

micro-spheres

3M Micro-spheres W-410

3M started here, turning minerals into sandpaper. Over more than a century, we have forged inorganic ceramic materials into a surprising range of products. The rugged granules that protect your roof. The complex touch screen at your cash-point. The aesthetic dental restorative and the coarsest abrasive. The brilliant bead that defines your lane on a rain-soaked main road and the ultra-strong fibre woven into a power line - these are all derived from 3M's long history in inorganic ceramics.

nascar

Helping NASCAR drivers keep their cool

For many people, the word “ceramics” brings to mind a pottery class. At 3M, ceramics means insulation. For instance: the last thing a NASCAR driver wants to worry about is burned feet or heat exhaustion during a race. Yet, drivers face cockpit temperatures of 115°F or more and floorboards hot enough to boil water. 3M™ Nextel™ thermal barriers - made of a lightweight ceramic textile - block that heat before it gets into the vehicle.

Combined with:

nascar

Beat the heat

3M™ Nextel™ thermal barriers applied to the transmission/tunnel, header/collector, driver’s floor panel and firewall keep drivers cooler by keeping surfaces up to 40% cooler.

comparison

From the race track to the space shuttle

The material is also widely used in the aerospace industry to shield components against heat and flame. This includes keeping the space shuttle’s tile “skin” cool during orbital reentry, and protecting rocket engines and fuel lines from rocket plume.

Technology Facts

  • First Application Colorquartz Roofing Granules (1931)
  • Now Innovating Shaped abrasive grains, orthodontic brackets
  • What We’ve Done Key solution to power the Olympics in 2008 (ACCR), Nextel™ in NASCAR, Nextel™ in space

Technology Facts

  • Markets Industrial, Consumer, Transport, Metal-working, Dental, Infrastructure
  • Core Products Nextel™, Zeospheres™, Cubitron™, Lava™
  • 3M Business Unit Industrial, Health Care, Electronics & Energy, Safety & Graphics