Sheet molding composites (SMCs) are well known for being more light weight than metals or other types of composite materials. Now, compounders and resin suppliers can produce SMC parts that are up to 40% lighter, enabling ultralightweight sheet molding composites that replace heavier steel and aluminum body panels, hoods, trunk lids and more. That’s because 3M™ Glass Bubbles – tiny, hollow glass microspheres added to resins in SMC production – are engineered to withstand the requirements of the sheet molding process despite their low density. Best of all, they help enable your parts to meet OEM requirements for Class A paintable surfaces.
1. Trunk bed
2. Trunk lid
3. Sunroof frame
4. Sunroof curtain
5. Glove box and interior compartments
6. Engine hood
7. Front trunk bed
8. Noise reduction parts
9. Headlight assembly
10. Front end module
11. EV battery housing
12. Door panels
13. Structural SMC
14. Side body molding
Weight reduction: 3M™ Glass Bubbles can enable densities below 1.0 g/cc and a total SMC component weight reduction of 45%, making ultralightweight SMC parts a replacement for metal in more places on the vehicle.
Class A paintable finishes: While fillers can sometimes affect the final part surface, compounders and resin suppliers can still produce lightweight SMCs with a Class A Paintable finish – making SMCs/BMCs a replacement in many more places on the vehicle.
Weight reduction: 3M™ Glass Bubbles can enable densities below 1.0 g/cc and a total SMC component weight reduction of 40%, making SMC parts a replacement for metal in more places on the vehicle.
Pictured: Lightweight SMC panels made with 3M Glass Bubbles.
3M Glass Bubbles are supported by global sales, technical and customer service resources. Contact us for more information, including formulation assistance or questions about a specific application.
Learn how 3M Glass Bubbles can help you with lightweighting and many other challenges across the entire vehicle.
To reduce weight of heavy battery packs in Battery Electric Vehicles, composite materials, like SMC, are being used as the enclosure or cover in place of steel or aluminum. This opens up new opportunities for automotive lightweighting with 3M Glass Bubbles. .