With you every step of the way.

Scroll using your mouse, the directional arrows, or your touchscreen device.

3M supplies major vehicle manufacturing plants in Britain and several of their key suppliers.

3M is a true global partner to vehicle manufacturers and their key suppliers. Working closely with vehicle manufacturing plants helps 3M to design and develop products for the manufacturer and aftermarket, should the vehicle be involved in a collision and require an approved repair.

Vehicle Manufacturing

Vehicle plant


If a car is involved in an accident, the insurance company will recommend a local approved repairer to the customer.

The approved repairer chosen for this job has specified 3M repair products. They have worked with the technically competent 3M team to specify the right materials for the jobs.

The bodyshop

At the bodyshop, a qualified estimator will assess the damage and send digital images and a report back to the insurer so that they can authorise the repair.

Man welcoming car to garage

The bodyshop

Panel Shop




Before entering the bodyshop the vehicle has any damaged trim or mechanical items removed. The vehicle then moves into the panel shop where dents and damage to the car panel are repaired by the bodyshop professional.

Our panel shop range includes abrasive grinding products, filler and adhesive products. 3M Cubitron II abrasives cut faster and last longer than conventional abrasives, improving the bodyshop professional's productivity.

3M body filler can be used on many types of substrate including aluminum and galvanised metals, making it a convenient and effective filler that cuts down on both repair time and stock-holding for body shops.

Using 3M premium glaze helps the bodyshop professional achieve the ideal final finish, leaving a smooth and level surface ideal for sanding and primer application. It helps to eliminate small imperfections such as scratches and pinholes and leaves an ultra-smooth and easy to sand surface.

The bodyshop professional applies 3M dry guide coat to primers and fillers to help highlight imperfections, defects and rough areas during the sanding process. This will help to reduce rework and improve productivity.

Download 3M Panel Repair Process Board

During the prep stage of the repair process, the bodyshop professional uses a number of 3M products to prepare the vehicle collision area for repainting.

For example, the 3M Hookit purple microfinishing discs 260L - a technically advanced abrasive disc that is long lasting and has anti-loading properties - is used to prepare existing paintwork for the application of basecoat and clearcoat paints.

The bodyshop professional also uses 3M Scotch-Brite Pre-Cut Rolls which is a 3-dimensional nylon web, resistant to tearing and loading. It is impregnated with an aluminium oxide mineral attached with resin. It is used for cleaning and preparation work including scuffing before applying paint or primer.

The bodyshop professional uses 3M flexible abrasive Hookit discs and hand sheets which are ideal for hand sanding applications including primer sanding, blend preparation and paint finishing. They provide an excellent cut and finish performance with high flexibility, conformability, and a soft feel which means they are great for sanding panel edges, and hard-to-reach areas such as bumper covers and door pockets.

3M soft edge foam masking tape PLUS utilises a tubular design that will deform to expand or compress to fill a range of aperture sizes. This allows the paint professional to easily mask both wide and narrow openings in one simple step, whilst the offset adhesive bead allows the product to be placed away from the paint edge to optimise the soft edge.

Before the car is painted in the spray booth, the bodyshop professional uses 3M masking solutions to protect the car from overspray and to achieve precision in the bodyshop.

For clean paint lines and less build-up, the bodyshop professional uses 3M Scotch Tape 3030 premium auto refinish masking tape. This green-coloured, smooth creped masking tape is a specially formulated cross-linked rubber/resin adhesive and suits a wide variety of bodyshop applications.

Using 3M™ Clear Masking Film allows for one man application with ideal clinging properties to speed up masking times.

The bodyshop technician uses 3M™ Purple Clear Masking Film Premium PLUS in particular to prevent moisture imprinting and ghosting on the painted vehicle surfaces. The film is a premium high density plastic sheeting which withstands temperatures of up to 120˚C for an hour.

The paint booth is one of the largest investments in a bodyshop. Keeping this asset in top working condition is a continuous task.

The 3M Dirt Trap Protection System helps minimise booth down time by protecting the paint booth walls and floors. The 3M Dirt Trap Protection Material traps dust, dirt and overspray and helps brighten work areas whilst the 3M Dirt Trap Protection Film helps protect lights and windows from overspray build-up.

In the spray booth, the paint professional uses the 3M PPS system which enables painters to mix less paint thereby helping to reduce paint costs and improve efficiency by as much as 15%! Unlike traditional spray cups, paint is mixed and sprayed out of the same 3M PPS liner with a lid and built in filter. The 3M PPS system also allows multi-angle spraying making primer and paint application efficient and effective.

Download 3M™ PPS™ Brochure

The paint professional then uses 3M PPS colour check light II which replicates almost 100% of the spectrum of natural daylight and enables the paint professional to get an accurate colour match and identify pre- and post paint defects such as pin holes and scratches, or swirl marks and dust nibs. This helps to achieve a "right first time" match and avoid costly re-works.

The 3M Accuspray Spray Gun HG14 used to repaint the repaired area provides excellent results through excellent atomisation resulting in higher transfer efficiency and lower overspray. Using this spray gun helps the paint professional to save time, money and material.

Download 3M™ Accuspray™ Brochure

Paint imperfections can be removed using a 3M™ Hookit™ Purple Microfinishing Disc 260L with an interface pad on a sander.

Scratches caused when removing paint imperfections are refined using a 3M Trizact fine finishing disc 3000 and then perfected even further with a 3M Trizact fine finishing foam disc 6000.

Using our comprehensive 3M™ Perfect-it™ III Colour Coded Compounding and 3M™ Perfect-it™ Polishing System, helps the paint professional achieve a high quality finish. This system ensures the most effective results possible, leaving vehicles with visibly reduced scratches and swirl marks.

3M Perfect-it III fast cut plus compound is the smart choice for professionals. This fast-acting, high performance liquid abrasive is designed to remove sanding scratches from refinished paintwork for an immaculate finish.

3M Perfect-it III extra fine PLUS is a fine finish compound that is designed specifically for modern paint systems. The paint professional uses it after 3M Perfect-it III fast cut plus compound to remove compound marks and achieve a higher gloss finish.

Rotary compounding and polishing can leave swirl marks and holograms. The paint professional uses 3M Perfect-it Ultrafina SE polish to reduce the swirl marks and holograms which achieve the high gloss finish.

Download 3M Solutions Booklet

Bodyshop repair processes can produce respiratory, hearing and eye hazards. Control measures, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be considered to protect against such hazards.

3M covers a wide range of bodyshop PPE which includes 3M Respirators, 3M Hearing Protection, 3M Eye Protection.

The bodyshop

The car looks good as new and the customer can drive away in a car repaired to an original vehicle standard.

A small accident

The car has a small accident a few weeks later and there is a small dent or scratch on the car.

Not to worry, a SMART repairer is nearby and within the day they will be at your door ready to use 3M products to repair the car.

SMART repair

The SMART repairer arrives with a van full of 3M products ready to carry out the repair. The bumper has a small crack and some scratches.

3M understands plastics and how their composition affects the repair process, and so the SMART repairer uses the 3M™ Plastic Repair Kit, which provides an efficient, high-quality solution for plastic repair.

3M comprehensive range of effective plastic repair products helps when dealing with damaged plastic parts such as tears, cracks, holes and broken tabs.

Download 3M Plastic Repair Solutions Booklet

The SMART repairer uses 3M taped masking film for localised masking. This pre-applied tape makes this film easy to use, and the micro replication technology means that the SMART repairer can tear in clean, straight lines without a blade. It helps protect against paint spray and prevents paint running off the plastic film.

3M smooth transition tape is a fast and simple way to create smooth transitions whilst painting base and clear coat finishes. Our tape helps to provide a flawless appearance when masking and painting parts such as door apertures, quarter edge panels and swage lines. It can be used in conjunction with 3M™ Soft Edge Foam Masking Tape PLUS for primer repairs so it is great for SMART repairs.

Once the vehicle is in a suitable area for spraying, the primer is applied using the 3M Accuspray spray gun. The gun is ideal for SMART repair, as it can be tightened to control the fan pattern. The atomising head also helps to minimise overspray and reduce primer consumption.

The SMART repairer uses 3M paint defect removal hand system to keep the repair area local and speed up the repair process with a system that reduce scratches, and produce an overall finer finish.

Visit the 3M SMART Repair ‘How to’

At 3M, we go the extra mile to understand customer needs and add value to bodyshop processes, with solutions designed to optimise profitability.

We consider ourselves partners, providing support and recommendations while helping bodyshops hit targets and control costs, through process standardisation, safety solutions and training.

Contact Us

Legal Information | Privacy Policy | Cookie Preferences | 3M UK Collision Repair | © 3M 2018. All Rights Reserved | 3M, Cubitron, Hookit, Scotch-Brite, Scotch, PPS, Accuspray, Trizact, Perfect-it and Ultrafina are trademarks of 3M Company.