CHICAGO (July 26, 3:40 p.m. EDT) — 3M Performance Additives said it has developed the first microsphere capable of withstanding injection molding and extrusion pressures of 30,000 pounds per square inch.
The iM30K additives combine light weight and strength as alternatives to conventional fillers such as talc, glass fiber and calcium carbonate, Louis Lundberg, 3M's business development manager for automotive markets, said at NPE in Chicago.
3M said tests on a Hyundai instrument panel compared polycarbonate/ABS with a new polypropylene material filled with the new microspheres. Nineteen months of tests showed the PP/microsphere part cut weight by almost 17 percent and the finished-part cost was 50 percent lower. As well, better flow and dimensional stability were seen vs. the current talc-filled PP part.