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Products & Services

Thousands of 3M Products have their roots here. 3M manufacturing facilities span the globe, and many of them rely on products, components or processes that originated at 3M Cottage Grove.

The primary products produced here include:

Chemicals and specialty materials
Cubitron™ II Abrasives
Glass bubbles
Industrial Tapes
Sintered Abrasives
Specialty films
Pilot Plants
Traffic Safety Systems Process

Various combinations of these result in tens of thousands of different products. Abrasives combined with adhesives, think sandpaper. Adhesives with film, you end up with one of many Scotch tapes. And on and on.

3M pilot plants and the corporate incinerator are also located here.


3M Adhesives, more ways to join and fasten materials than you can imagine. For more than 50 years, 3M industrial adhesives have been used in a vast array of industries.

  • Liquid, spray and solid adhesives
  • Instant adhesives that set in seconds
  • Tapes of all types, from the familiar Scotch Magic tape to masking tape
  • Painter’s tapes
  • Medical tapes
  • Vinyl tapes, metal foil tapes, duct and cloth tapes
  • Tapes with adhesive on one or both sides
  • Exceptionally high strength tapes
  • Environmentally responsible adhesives

For more information on Adhesives Products click here.


Abrasives Photo

Abrasives, the Foundation 3M Is Built On

Company founders started mining abrasive materials and manufacturing sandpaper in 1902. That makes the 3M Abrasives Systems Division, located here in Cottage Grove, the only 3M business that is over 100 years old. Today, 3M Abrasive products are consistently regarded among the best in the world.

Used for grinding, surface conditioning, finishing and polishing virtually anything, they play a key role in almost every industry.

Automotive manufacturing
Heavy equipment manufacturing
Semiconductor manufacturing
Boat building and more

To learn more on Abrasive products click here.


Cubitron II Cubitron II

New Cubitron™ II Abrasives, Where Metal Meets Its Match

Abrasive materials have come a long way since 3M began mining them in northern Minnesota one hundred years ago. Cubitron™ II fibre discs are descendants of one of 3M’s original products – sandpaper. They are the latest innovation in our long line of industry-leading abrasives products.

Customers’ praise

Here’s what just a few of our customers had to say about new Cubitron™ II fibre discs:

“A much better cut”

“A lot better; cuts faster and lasts longer”

No wonder that today, 3M abrasive products are consistently regarded among the best in the world in their markets.

Cubitron II Triangular-shaped grain is electrostatically oriented to
form sharp peaks, each acting like individual cutting tools.

Cubitron™ II leaves other ceramic technologies in the dust

Designed for carbon steel metalworking applications such as weld grinding, beveling, flame-cut edge clean-up and deburring, they are found throughout the automotive industry as well as others. Cubitron™ II abrasive grain is a manufactured ceramic material with exceptional durability and improved cutting efficiency. Cubitron™ II abrasive products contain precision shaped ceramic grains with exceptional durability and improved cutting efficiency.


Glass Bubbles

Glass Bubbles

Glass Bubbles, the Tiny Spheres with Huge Benefits

Another distinctive product of the Cottage Grove Center, 3M glass bubbles are very tiny hollow glass microspheres. About the diameter of a human hair, glass bubbles bring important benefits:

  • They are extremely strong yet lightweight, so they can be cost-effective weight reducers anywhere weight is a factor.
  • They are excellent insulators and provide buoyancy wherever that is important, in everything from fishing line to oil rigs in the ocean.
  • They help reduce viscosity in the resin systems into which they are incorporated. Acting like thousands of ball bearings, they roll easily over one another. This is invaluable in production of products that need to flow smoothly to improve product performance and processing efficiency.

Glass bubbles bring their benefits to many products in a variety of industries:

  • Automotive
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Electronics
  • Paints and coatings
  • Sporting goods

For more information on Glass Bubbles click here.


Interam Photo

Automotive INTERAM

Interam® Brand Products, Key Components of Your Vehicle’s Catalytic Converter

By removing many of the harmful pollutants in your vehicle’s exhaust, the catalytic converter helps your vehicle run “greener.” 3M Interam Brand Products are a primary component of catalytic converters. While we do not manufacture the actual catalytic converters, 3M Cottage Grove makes several Interam Brand Products used by vehicle manufacturers.

These products perform a number of vital functions:

  • Act as a cushion from shock and vibration
  • Act as a seal to prevent exhaust gases from escaping
  • Provide thermal insulation to control heat for maximum converter efficiency
  • Provide acoustical insulation to lower converter noise level

Interam Brand Products consist of a ceramic fiber, vermiculite and a binder – all combined here at 3M Cottage Grove. The comprehensive product line encompasses solutions for all ranges of temperature and pressure needs that are encountered – in everything from automobiles to commercial vehicles.

In addition, our technical experts have developed many of the tests that are considered industry standards to ensure a superior product.

For more information on Interam click here.


Industrial Tape Photo

Industrial Tape

Pressure sensitive adhesive tapes are a convenient way to put adhesive to work on improving products and processes. Based on more than 50 years experience in practical application of adhesive technology, 3M is one resource of industrial tapes for bonding, protecting, masking, enhancing, bundling, shielding, damping, splicing, reinforcing, color coding, case sealing, and more.

For more information on Industrial tape click here.


Sintered Abrasives Photo

Sintered Abrasives

Today’s Technology Is Enabled by Products Produced Right Here in Cottage Grove

It's difficult to go a day without interacting with a device using an integrated circuitor flash memory - from personal computers to cell phones, MP3 music players such as iPods to digital cameras. Many of the world's top microchip manufacturers rely on products produced in Cottage Grove to develop and produce their next generation technology.

To enable the technology of today and tomorrow, the Electronics Markets Materials Division produces 3M™ Diamond Pad Conditioners at the Cottage Grove Site. These conditioners play a key role in manufacturing microchips.

For more information on Sintered Abrasives click here.


Specialty Films

Transdermal Medical Film Film for Traffic Signs Flex Circuit Bonding Film

Specialty Films, One of the Original Businesses at 3M Cottage Grove

Specialty Films have a rich history at our plant site. The industry has changed many times and our site has been responsible in many improvements in the technology of speciality films.

  • Packaging materials
  • Reflective sheeting for traffic signs
  • Thermal bonding films
  • Medical films and many more

Our specialty films offer other 3M divisions as well as external customers major benefits:

  • They are durable and stable, meaning they won’t stretch or shrink.
  • They can be very clear, opaque or have color added.
  • They must be dispensable, that is, be easy to use.


Pilot Plants

Pilot Plants – Planning Future 3M Successes

Since our very beginning, 3M has been known for technological innovation. Much of that innovation springs to life here in the pilot plants of 3M Cottage Grove. These plants determine the feasibility of new products, applications, technologies or processes developed in the labs by research and development.

The Cottage Grove location is extremely important:

  • It puts us within 20 minutes of research and development at headquarters.
  • It makes it convenient for all 3M divisions to work with us.
  • Creating viable product samples and processes is what we do.
  • The equipment, expertise, training, systems and infrastructure are already in place, making this a cost-effective and convenient site for new product development.

3M Cottage Grove Pilot Plant facilities offer small scale manufacturing equipment to help us:

  • Develop safe, reliable, environmentally friendly products in an efficient manner
  • Determine ways to help reduce solvent use and scrap at 3M
  • Discover novel, state-of-the-art, effective products through unique microreplication, coating and extrusion processes

For example, the lab may develop a new tape but only produce a few inches of it. It is up to the pilot plant to determine if manufacturing that tape in quantity, perhaps miles of it, is feasible and cost-effective.


Our typical Pilot Plant process goes something like this:

  • After a request from research and development, the Pilot Plant prepares actual samples.
  • Samples go back to the lab for their evaluation.
  • Samples then go to customers for their evaluation and feedback.
  • Design is refined based on customers’ input.
  • The Pilot Plant determines the best production processes and if that product can be profitably produced.
  • The product is then ready to go to market.



Traffic Safety Systems - Processe Research Facilty Pilot Plant

3M Traffic Safety Systems - Improving materials, systems, and services to better serve motorists in today's challenging driving conditions.

For more information on Traffic Safety Systems click here.



For information about jobs at 3M, visit our 3M Careers website.