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Solutions for Aircraft Structures

3M provides a full set of structural solutions including low density void fillers, core splice films, adhesive films and paste adhesives designed for both composite and metal structure bonding assembly in aircraft manufacturing. We also have a wide range of polyurethane protective tapes for protection of the manufactured part, either in the in-service use or for temporary protection during the manufacturing assembly process.

3M solutions for structural bonding of aero-structure manufacturing, such as airframes and components, are well known in the aerospace industry. Our product portfolio is based on both adhesive bonding products such as adhesive films and pastes or sandwich construction solutions like low density void fillers or core splicing films.

These solutions have been designed for both composite and metal structures. Depending on product choice, we offer both reactive 2 part systems curable at ambient condition and heat curing solutions designed for standard aircraft industry cure cycles (120°C or 180°C). Most of our products are based on modified epoxy technology which is easily compatible with surrounding aerospace materials like composite prepregs, metallic or non-metallic honeycombs. With regards to our composite solutions, all of our Composite solutions have been developed to offer versatile industry processes like co-curing, co-bonding or bonding to cured composite substrates.

3M’s range of polyurethane protective tapes enables Airlines to maximize the in service life of aircraft by superior protection of the aero-structure against weather erosion or impact.

Structural Adhesive Films

Structutral Adhesive Films

The wide range of 3M Structural adhesive films are mostly based on modified epoxy technology but our portfolio also includes nitrile-phenolic based products. This product range can be heat cured using typical aerospace industry cure cycles and is designed for the adhesive bonding assembly of composite and metallic structures.

Our range of adhesive films provide a combination of benefits, including resistence to mechanical ageing and metal fatigue, the ability to easily process these products makes them extremely versatile.

3M film adhesive are available in several thicknesses, with or without carrier or scrim support.

To improve adhesion of the structural adhesives, 3M technical teams can provide you with support on to how the successfully bond various substrates. This will help you to preserve the adhesion properties of the bondline and improve long term durability.

Low Density Void Fillers

Low Density Void Fillers

The structural core filler product range, contains two core technologies of 3M; modified epoxy technology and hollow glass microspheres. We serve the market with both heat-curing solutions and ambient curing reactive 2 part systems.

Our low density void filler range is typically used in combination with sandwich structure manufacturing where our product will provide local core reinforcement or durable edge close out.

The heat or room temperature curing products can either be cured apart or co-cured with the surrounding materials (composite prepregs, core splice films, film adhesives). As the cured filler is easily machinable and sandable, a cutting of a panel in a reinforced area enables a clean edge finish.

Typically, these types of products are used for aero-structures like landing gear doors, flap track fairings and spoilers.

Adhesive pastes

Adhesive pastes

3M offers a wide range of paste adhesive solutions adapted for the aerospace industry. The majority of products are reactive 2 part paste epoxy adhesives curable at ambient temperature. The paste adhesive portfolio serves the aircraft and helicopter industry with both high performance toughened solutions as well as flexible solutions with a wide range of work-life after mixing.

These products enable significant bonding strength and adhesion to commonly used substrates such as composites and metals. Most of our products have been designed for automatic dispensing and are also available in easy-to-use duo-pack cartridges.

Structural core splice films

Structural core splice films

3M have a large range of structural core splice films. These thermo-foaming, epoxy based, heat-curing systems are typically used in combination with sandwich structures. Our core splice film range is typically used as a splicing solution between two honeycombs, complex gap-filling or for edge close out.

Our products have a wide range of expansion ranges. co-curable in combination with composite materials or metal using standard aerospace cure cycles from 120°C to 180°C.

Surface Protection

Surface Protection

3M Polyurethane Protective Tapes provide outstanding surface protection when applied over the aircraft leading edges and other exposed surfaces, preventing significant Foreign Object Damage (FOD) and damage from erosion . . This can Significantly reduce maintenance, repair and overhaul costs and extend service life of aircraft and helicopter aero-structures.

3M has also developed polyurethane protective tapes designed for long term high performance temporary protection. These products provide excellent resistance to impact, scratch and other type of damage combined with easy removal with minimum risk of adhesive residues on the surface.

These products are also used to protect aircraft parts during the full assembly line process duringthe manufacturing process.

If you have further questions regarding 3M’s solutions for aircraft structures, contact us