3M: New glass bubbles official compounding partners

Kraiburg TPE GmbH & Co. KG and Audia – Washington Penn Plastics Europe are now 3M Glass Bubbles Official Compounding Partners. The partner programme, which the multi-technology group launched for its microscopic hollow glass bubbles in the DACH region, thus grows to six companies operating throughout Europe, some of them worldwide.

3M Glass Bubbles play an important role in future-oriented lightweight construction concepts for automotive engineering. In addition to the well-known weight optimisation, they offer many other advantages. The stable hollow spheres also open up numerous added values for applications in construction and industrial products: Here they provide effective insulation, reduce cracking or enable process optimisation through easier processing.

With the partner programme launched three years ago, 3M wants to ensure uniformly high quality standards and at the same time promote innovative applications in a targeted manner with the official partner companies. Individual training measures at the companies contribute to this just as much as fixed contact persons for new development projects. This ensures that processors and end users of compounds with 3M Glass Bubbles can receive competent support along the entire value chain.

One of the latest partners is Kraiburg TPE. With 3M Glass Bubbles, the company has succeeded in developing an innovative material technology that leads to TPEs with very low density. The result is three new product lines for extremely weight-saving parts, as required primarily in vehicle construction, power tools and various other areas of application.

The microscopically small hollow glass spheres enable innovative solutions in the automotive and construction industries, among others. (Source: 3M)

„Thanks to the excellent cooperation with our partner 3M, we have been able to develop formulations that not only meet the current lightweight construction and quality requirements of existing customers, but also open up completely new markets for the economical use of our TPEs,“ says Martina Hetterich, Project Manager Advance Development at Kraiburg TPE.

Washington Penn Plastics, another new 3M Glass Bubbles Official Compounding Partner, is already using the material to realise innovative concepts in lightweight construction. An ongoing application for large components in the engine compartment shows how easily sustainable weight advantages can be realised.

„Additional benefits can be achieved in cycle time savings, better thermal insulation and the inclusion of recyclate in the components,“ highlights Karan Bhalla, Market Development Manager, Audia Plastics Europe.

The 3M Glass Bubbles Official Compounding Partner programme is being gradually expanded.