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Partner in Lightweight Automotive Design & Manufacturing

Your Technology Partner for Lightweight Automotive Design, Manufacturing & Assembly

Discover 3M solutions that enable you to develop lighter weight, efficient, low-emission vehicles.

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Automotive Lightweighting Solutions

  • Lightweight automotive design & manufacturing is a key focus for the global automotive industry. Automotive OEMs and Tiers are looking for technologies to enable lighter and more efficient designs. After all, lightweight components are regarded as one of the best ways to reduce emissions and to comply with stringent CO₂ requirements.

    3M is your trusted partner for automotive lightweighting solutions. With more than 40 technology platforms and in-depth understanding of the challenges facing OEMs and Tiers, 3M provides you with practical and innovative solutions for materials and lightweight design.

    With solutions from 3M, you can master the direct and indirect challenges resulting from low component weights and new composite materials.

  • close up of person refueling a car

    You need to make automobiles lighter. We can help.

    Whether you’re a manufacturer or auto industry supplier, there is pressure to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel economy – all while keeping performance at its peak and your manufacturing costs in check, including:

    • The stringent emissions rules being implemented in the US, China and EU designed to combat global warming.
    • The need to reduce mass in hybrid and electric vehicles to achieve maximum efficiency and range
    • The challenge of reducing weight in automobiles while retaining or improving performance and affordability


    Design and build lighter and more fuel efficient vehicles with the help of 3M automotive lightweighting solutions.

    Download the 3M Lightweight eBook (PDF, 6.47 MB) to learn more about the global challenges and solutions for lighter, more efficient vehicles.

3M Automotive Lightweighting Technologies

Discover 3M technologies for lightweight vehicle construction and learn how 3M supports you in developing efficient, low-emission products.

  • 3M™ Glass Bubbles can be used in the design of a variety of interior and exterior automotive applications. From body panels & engine covers to liquid plastisol for seam sealing applications, 3M Glass Bubbles can enable your lightweighting needs. Using this filler helps reduce the overall weight of the part while also optimizing manufacturing efficiencies.

  • The auto industry is using a variety of materials to reduce weight in vehicle designs. 3M has bonding and joining solutions for the modern materials being used today - from plastics to aluminium to composites – we have an answer.

  • Lightweight designs dominate automotive development today, but acoustic absorbers can contribute to both weight savings and increased customer satisfaction by giving passengers a quieter ride.

  • Downsizing doesn't have to mean a downgrade in performance. 3M™ Friction Shims enhance friction to transmit higher loads while enabling more compact and lightweight designs.

Automotive Lightweighting Materials: Making Vehicles Lighter

Cars need to be greener. As government regulations and consumer demand push automotive manufacturers toward more sustainable solutions, OEMs and Tiers are relying on lightweight components to reduce weight and meet performance standards. Manufacturers are currently benefitting from important innovations in materials to help reduce weight in vehicle designs, but dissimilar materials can be tricky to put together. 3M has solutions to help you execute your vehicle designs of the future with a portfolio of tapes, adhesives and reclosable fasteners that address the challenges of using modern materials.

  • Because every ounce counts!

    Studies show that using lightweight materials can cut a vehicle’s body and chassis weight in half – helping to dramatically increase fuel economy and improve range in hybrids, plug-ins and all electric vehicles.¹

  • Total Car solutions for Lightweight design and manufacturing

    Click the bullet point for more details.

    Click the bullet point for more details.

Solar Protection Films
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The self-adhesive film is used for noise damping, inter alia, in the engine compartment, in the inner panel or in the headliner. It reduces vibration and noise, is extremely light and thin.

Door Seals
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Self adhesive body and door seals improve NVH and diminish water and dust intrusion while reducing weight.

Adhesives and Tapes
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Double-sided adhesive tapes, films and liquid adhesives are playing an increasingly important role in vehicle design – helping vehicle manufactures bond dissimilar and modern materials.

Underbody Protection
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Also in the underbody coating the hollow glass spheres can be used as filler material to reduce weight.

Acoustic Absorbers

Non-woven acoustic absorbers from 3M are up to 50% lighter than conventional materials made up of cotton and felt. These mold, mildew and moisture resistant pieces are used in doors, headliners, wheel arches, package trays, pillars and instrument panels.

Damping Film
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This thin, light, self- adhesive film reduces vibration and noise in engine compartments, door panels and headliners – giving passengers a more comfortable ride.

Friction Shims
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Diamond-studded washers increase the transmissible torque and thus allow the construction of smaller and lighter engines.

Glass Bubbles
Glass Bubbles Thumbnail

Microscopic hollow glass beads of chemically resistant borosilicate glass are incorporated into plastic parts. They have a lower density and are up to 80% lighter than mineral fillers.

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Need help identifying the right solution for your application? Contact us for product, technical or application expertise.