3M™ Glass Bubbles for Paints & Coatings
Lighter. Brighter. Cooler. Smarter.

Hollow glass microspheres for density reduction, solar reflectivity and more.

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3M™ Glass Bubbles for Paints and Coatings

    • From single family homes to large industrial plants, paints and coatings are the first line of protection for the buildings that shelter our businesses and lives. And weathering the elements year after year – while keeping down initial and long-term costs – requires the right materials.

      3M™ Glass Bubbles provide a high performance, alternative to conventional fillers in a variety of paints and specialty coatings. These hollow glass microspheres are used as density-reducing additives, helping lower formulation weight and viscosity, and contribute a variety of functional benefits ranging from scratch resistance to solar reflectivity.

      • Acrylic and industrial latex paints
      • Solar reflective roof coatings
      • Spackling, caulks, adhesives and more
      • Epoxy coatings

      Available in a wide range of strengths, densities and particle sizes, 3M glass bubbles can help meet the performance and processing demands of your application. View our Selection Guide to help identify the grade of 3M glass bubbles with the optimal balance of properties for your formulation:


      Download brochure (PDF, 4.2MB)

  • Conventional filler vs 3M™ Glass Bubbles

    Conventional filler (left) vs filler with 3M™ Glass Bubbles (right) shows low shrinkage and neither cracks nor sagging

  • Boost performance

    The high strength, low density and unique physical properties of 3M glass bubbles can provide a number of advantages compared to paints and coatings formulated with conventional, irregularly-shaped fillers:

    • Improved abrasion resistance (depending on product grade)
    • Reduced thermal expansion and shrinkage
    • Uniform spherical shape helps create improved flow, for efficient processing and easier application
    View 3M Glass Bubbles products

  • Solar Reflective Industrial Coating Illustration

    Solar reflective coatings

    Cool isn't just a matter of comfort. Effective solar management – or the lack of it – can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Testing shows that solar reflective roof coatings formulated with 3M glass bubbles can offer a number of performance and cost benefits compared to typical "cool roof" coatings.

    • Higher total solar reflectance
    • Higher thermal emissivity (ability to give up heat)
    • Lower inside temperatures
    • Reduced cooling costs

    In addition to their traditional use in building products for energy conservation, solar heat management coatings are expanding into new and exciting fields such as transportation.

From solar reflection to anti-condensation properties, explore our short videos on 3M Glass Bubbles applications in construction


3M glass bubbles are supported by our global sales, technical and customer service resources. Contact us for more information, including formulation assistance or questions about a specific application.







Customer Success Stories

  • Case study thumbnail

    The science of a cosy winter

    Explore how this high performance paint containing 3M™ Glass Bubbles inhibits the growth of mould and creates a higher wall temperature, thus helping to save energy.

     Read Full Case Study (PDF, 449 KB)

  • Case study thumbnail

    Protecting the aesthetics of a historic building in Mallorca

    When it came to choosing the right paint, architect R Weber turned to Solance and Solar produced by paint manufacturer Maxit®. The exterior paint has special properties thanks to the addition of 3M™ Glass Bubbles that make it able to deal with extreme humidity and high solar irradiation.

     Read Full Case Study (PDF, 586 KB)

  •  Case study thumbnail

    An external paint formulated to reduce energy use and repel dirt.

    Using a calibrated formulation of the finest raw materials, including 3M™ Glass Bubbles, Italian paint manufacturer Resinacolor has created a revolutionary heat-reflective and self-cleaning paint. 

    Read Full Case Study (PDF, 415 KB)

  • Case study thumbnail

    A mix and match paint system to drive energy efficiency.

    Microreflex is a complete new internal and external coating system from Italian manufacturer Chiraema that has been formulated using 3M™ Glass Bubbles to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce condensation. 

    Read Full Case Study (PDF, 635 KB)

  • Partly coated building


  • Download Whitepaper: Renovation Wave

    Only one percent of the building stock in Europe is currently energetically renovated every year - too little to achieve the climate protection goals. The European Commission has therefore launched the “Renovation Wave” initiative, with the aim of at least doubling the renovation rate in the next ten years. A whitepaper from the multi-technology company 3M provides information on the background, priorities and measures.

Request your free paints and coatings formulation consultation

Explore innovative solutions to enhance the performance and durability of your paint formulation with a free consultation with our technical experts.

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