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3M Automotive Weight Reduction Solutions

In an economy where oil prices are on the increase, automotive weight reduction is a key step in reducing a vehicle’s energy consumption and improving fuel economy. When it comes to engineering weight and mass reduction measures into your automotive manufacturing process, 3M offers a range of unique, innovative solutions that can be incorporated throughout the vehicle:

  • Attachment solutions for use in place of mechanical fastenings.
  • 3M™ Exterior Trim Film offers a lighter alternative to formed metal trim parts.
  • 3M™ Thinsulate™ Acoustic Insulation provides high performance sound dampening with only a few cm² of lightweight material.
  • Structural Adhesives can replace welding and mechanical fixings on primary assemblies.
  • 3M™ Glass Bubbles reduce the weight of plastic components by up to 30%.



Attachment Solutions

Attachment Solutions

3M™ Acrylic Foam Tapes and 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners are effective alternatives to heavy mechanical fastenings when attaching trim parts and seals. They offer a proven method for attaching components without causing distortion, especially in applications where thinner gauge panels or reduced packaging spaces are required, sealing out noise, dirt, moisture and air.

Learn more about 3M™ Acrylic Foam Tapes.

Learn more about the 3M range of Trim Attachment Solutions.

NEW 3M™ Exterior Trim Film

NEW 3M™ Exterior Trim Film

3M Exterior Trim Film (ETF) creates a metallic or high-gloss black finish on plastic exterior trim components, replacing heavyweight formed metal, chrome-plated plastic and painted parts. It provides a consistent finish on a variety of different base materials (ABS, TPO, PVC) and with a range of manufacturing processes (e.g. co-extrusion, in-mold decoration, dual vacuum thermoforming). 3M ETF can reduce weight by up to 10% when compared to aluminium alternatives.

Learn more about 3M Exterior Trim Film.

Learn more about the 3M range of Engineered Films.

3M™ Thinsulate™ Acoustic Material

3M™ Thinsulate™ Acoustic Material

3M Thinsulate Acoustic Material is an ideal noise insulation solution for those looking to reduce the weight of their vehicles. Used by automotive manufacturers worldwide, this lightweight material delivers high acoustic insulation performance per unit weight, so less material is required to achieve the same level of noise reduction when compared to standard alternatives. Thinsulate is hydrophobic, compressible, highly conformable and easy to recycle. It can be reliably attached to a variety of component parts with energy-efficient ultrasonic welding.

Learn more about 3M Thinsulate Acoustic Material.

Learn more about the 3M range of acoustic solutions for automotive manufacturing.

3M™ Structural Adhesives

3M™ Structural Adhesives

3M Structural Adhesives are the ideal choice for the cost-effective design of primary assemblies. Suitable for use on virtually all materials and combinations, their two-component systems deliver outstanding bonding performance when joining flanges, bonnets and panels. With the resulting effect on crash performance and dynamics, vehicles are made safer whilst at the same time benefitting from reduced weight and greater design flexibility.

Learn more about 3M Structural Adhesives.

3M™ Glass Bubbles

3M™ Glass Bubbles

3M Glass Bubbles can be incorporated into the production of automotive components to help manufacturers reduce weight without compromising on strength, finish or cost. Lighter components increase engine performance and reduce emissions – these high strength, low density glass microspheres can reduce the weight of plastic parts by up to 30%, as well as improving form stability and cycle times.

3M Glass Bubbles can withstand the rigours of compounding and injection moulding up to 30,000 psi. Their ‘ball-bearing’ effect serves to reduce the resin content and improve flow, enabling OEM’s and Tier One suppliers to dramatically increase productivity at the same time as reducing the weight and cost of parts. Applications include:

  • Thermoplastics,
  • Sheet and bulk moulding composites,
  • Underbody coatings,
  • Body fillers.

More than 20 variations of glass bubble are available, with different densities, compression strengths and sizes. This offers manufacturers a comprehensive choice for each specific application. Popular products for automotive manufacturing include 3M™ Scotchlite™ Glass Bubbles K1, 15, S32, and S60. For more specific details of these and the other glass bubble products in the range, visit our Datasheets area.

Specialist advice

The team at 3M has vast experience working with customers in the automotive industry and can help deliver a customised, end-to-end solution for modern manufacturing challenges. For more information on our range of automotive weight reduction solutions Contact a 3M specialist