3M Introduces Glass Bubbles Enabled Sheet Molded Composites for Automotive Industry

3M Introduces Glass Bubbles Enabled Sheet Molded Composites for Automotive Industry

Thu 10, May 2018

3M has introduced on May 7, Glass Bubbles S32HS which is a lightweight sheet molded composite (SMC) product with Class A paintable surfaces. According to 3M, the new product can help OEMs achieve up to a 40 percent weight reduction of composite parts, at a density below 1.0 g/cc.

Material lightweighting is of paramount importance for the automotive OEMs which are looking for improvement in fuel efficiency and battery range for electrification. This innovation makes SMCs an attractive option in automotive design for OEMs.

“With the trend toward electric and high efficiency cars, reducing overall vehicle weight is key to staying competitive,” says Ray Eby, vice president of 3M Automotive Electrification. “A typical automobile has about 660 lbs. of composite parts. With ultra lightweight SMCs enabled by our glass bubbles, OEMs can significantly improve a vehicle’s energy usage, while saving money – one less bump in the road in the race to automotive electrification.”

For many years, 3M has partnered with the automotive industry to enable weight reductions for major automotive manufacturers. By replacing conventional fillers, these hollow glass microspheres can reduce the weight of molded parts without sacrificing strength or aesthetics.

“Our customers continue to challenge us to lower the density and weight of fiberglass reinforced material systems to support their automotive lightweighting efforts,” says Terrence O’Donovan, vice president, marketing and sales for Core Molding Technologies (Columbus, OH, US). “A density of 1.0g/cc or below has long been a goal, while still enabling a Class A finish. Using 3M Glass Bubbles helps enable us to meet our customers’ expectations.”  

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Image Source: Trelleborg

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