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History of 3M Chelmsford

Custom Materials, Inc. (CMI)

The Chelmsford facility was founded in 1960 and was known as CMI (Custom Materials, Inc.). CMI began by manufacturing special microwave compounded materials and in 1965 expanded to include static electricity protection products.

During the next growth phase, an electrically conductive polyolefin product (Velostat) was produced. These products are used primarily in the electronics industry, however, other uses include the explosive and hospital industry where it is necessary to eliminate static electricity and protect sensitive devices from static damage.

3M acquired CMI in 1974 as part of the Nuclear Products Department. This conductive plastic product line has grown to become a vital part of 3M's Electrical Markets Division.

Electronized Chemicals Company (ECC)

This business was founded in 1944, incorporated in 1948, in Brooklyn, New York by Mr. Arno Brach. His objective was to develop improved and special properties of materials through the use of electron bombardment, i.e., e-beam processing. A number of processes and materials were developed but limited sales evolved. The company, Electronized Chemicals Company, was acquired in part by the High Voltage Engineering Company in 1962, and completely in 1978. The early work of this company resulted in a number of material patents. The patent of importance, "Method for Improving the Properties of Polymerized Materials," is the basis for all heat shrinkable materials and product technology in the market today.

The combination of specialized plastic, or polymer formulations, and electron beam processing imparts unique and improved characteristics to materials useful in electrical applications. Product manufacturing operations started in the mid-1960's in Burlington, Massachusetts growing through the 1970's to include a full range of product offerings for manufacture, installation, repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic components and equipment. Our products are installed by heating, thus causing them to shrink onto the underlying component or cable providing a skin-tight, electrical insulating and protective covering.

In 1985, 3M acquired ECC to complete our product and technology capabilities in electrical insulations to meet evolving customer requirements. Heat recoverable technology completes the set of insulating technologies offered by 3M to the major industries of Electronics, Aerospace, Electrical Utilities, Telephone and Communications, Transportation and Electrical Construction and Maintenance.

Today, Chelmsford produces heat shrink tubing used in electrical, electronics and mechanical applications as a simple and reliable method of applying insulation, protection or covering.


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