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Lightweighting Solutions for Body-in-White


The Secret to Lighter Weight in BIW

Reducing weight without sacrificing structural strength or curb appeal requires thought, creativity and, above all, science. In our range of automotive lightweighting solutions, 3M offers all three.

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    Glass Bubbles

    Our cross-industry expertise allows 3M to provide advanced material technology to automotive OEMs and Tier suppliers. 3M™ Glass Bubbles are microscopic, hollow glass microspheres that feature an extremely high strength-to-density ratio. This material is supplied as a polymer additive that can replace heavier materials without sacrificing the integrity of the component. In fact, it can reduce density in plastics, composites and coatings by up to 50%. 3M™ Glass Bubbles can be used in injection molded parts and sheet molded composites (SMCs), ideal for lightweight door panels hoods and trunk lids. They are also commonly used in seam sealing and underbody coatings.

    Please contact a 3M expert to discuss your specific application.

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    Melt Sealing Tapes

    Designed for flowability when heated in conventional paint ovens, our melt sealing tapes are ideal for filling holes and seams to create smooth, consistent surfaces. We provide these tapes for design flexibility, including thicker tapes for use on uneven spaces and thin, .5 mm tapes for applications where packaging space is a particular challenge.

    • 3M™ Melt Sealing Tape 5230
      This white .5 mm conformable structural sealing tape is free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and formulated to seal automotive body joints on hidden surfaces. It is ideal for sealing roof ditches, combined panel edge seals, holes and body joints.
    • 3M™ Melt Sealing Tape 5231
      This white 1.0 mm conformable, PVC-free structural sealing tape is formulated to seal automotive body joints on hidden surfaces. It is ideal for sealing roof ditches, combined panel edge seals, holes and body joints.
    • 3M™ Melt Sealing Tape 5232
      This white 1.5 mm conformable, PVC-free structural sealing tape is formulated to seal automotive body joints on hidden surfaces. It is ideal for sealing roof ditches, combined panel edge seals, holes and body joints.

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    Structural Adhesive Liquids

    3M delivers structural adhesive liquids that allow for the replacement of heavy mechanical fasteners in many applications. These liquids can be applied quickly and efficiently and provide flexible working times. They are heat-cured to structural strength at variable rates using established OEM processes, so there's usually no need to add process steps for adhesive cure. Many are formulated for longer storage and lower cure temperatures (induction curing as low as 80°C), which is ideal for bonding materials such as carbon fiber without distortion or resin degradation.

    Many of our two-part epoxy structural adhesives are available in Duo-Pak cartridge and bulk containers and can be applied with 3M application equipment that allows for precise, consistent mix ratios and minimal product waste.

    • 3M™ Structural Adhesive SA9820
      Formulated for increased design flexibility in OEM automotive applications, this two-part epoxy adhesive is ideal for bonding carbon composites. It cures at low temperatues and can achieve the same mechanical performance of 1K, even on oily metals. Bonded substructures can be stored up to two months before full e-coat/paint cycle curing.
    • 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Epoxy Adhesive DP460 
      This toughened, two-part epoxy adhesive provides ideal impact and fatigue resistance for automotive applications. It mixes at 2:1 and provides a 20-minute working time, allowing for positioning of either substrate. 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Epoxy Adhesive DP460 Off-White meets UL 94 HB requirements.
    • 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Epoxy Adhesive DP490
      This non-sag, thixotropic, two-part epoxy adhesive is designed for high-strength applications. It mixes at 2:1, features a 90-minute work life and resists temperatures up to 248ºF/120ºC. It bonds to difficult surfaces including most plastics and powder coated metals.
    • 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Urethane Adhesive DP620NS
      Our two-part, polyurethane-based structural adhesive is ideal for applications requiring low-temperature flexibility. It mixes at 1:1 and provides a 20-minute work life, allowing for positioning of either substrate. It reaches handling strength in about four hours.

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    Structural Adhesive Tapes

    The power of 3M structural adhesives in a tape format can bond to a full range of metal substrates, so you can design using a much greater selection of metals. These tapes are ideal for added precision where clean, complete application is critical, and where corrosion is a main concern. Structural adhesive tapes improve quality by reducing variability of application and can bond to a variety of metal substrates. They also expand during cure to fill gaps, which can help reduce warranty claims in some applications. Structural adhesive tapes are especially useful for bonding long, thin areas where the use of spot welds or mechanical fasteners has traditionally required extra time, labor and weight.

    • 3M™ Structural Adhesive Tape SAT1010
      3M™ Structural Adhesive Tape SAT1010 is ideal for structural bonding strength, sealing and isolation between dissimilar materials. It features an expanding, structural epoxy formulated for steel and aluminum parts. The tape expands and cures in e-coat cure ovens and can fill small gaps where tolerances would otherwise be an issue. It is an alternative to clinching and provides clean, repeatable application without the variability of many liquid adhesives — which eliminates the potential for parts to move before cure.

Need Help Finding the Right Solution?

3M is constantly working to meet the evolving challenges of automotive OEM and Tier suppliers worldwide. If you need help finding an existing solution or would like to talk about specific ideas you’re working on, get in touch with us.