3M – Sealing The Deal In Protective Coatings

Posted on October 20, 2014 linda strong aviation safety

In 2012 the company 3M created a separate division for its aerospace business. Known for adhesives, sealants and protective films, 3M believes they can improve planes by providing low-weight compounds that will make planes both lighter and stronger. The company was originally founded in 1902 by five Minnesota businessmen who focused on creating better sandpaper products. The company soon expanded into new emerging markets. In 1925 they introduced masking tape.

To support the efforts of the US in WWII 3M began manufacturing Scotchlite™ Reflective Sheeting for highway markings, magnetic sound recording tape, and filament adhesive tape. In 1980 3M had expanded into pharmaceuticals, radiology, and energy control markets. With $27 billion in sales, 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For over 50 years 3M has been providing high performance solution for aircraft and helicopter airframe bonding. In 2011 3M acquired AC Tech’s range of fast curing polysulfide sealants expanding the portfolio of available sealant solutions. These high performance sealants are trusted by engineers and maintenance professionals around the world. AC Tech Sealants are highly-specialized to be used on sealing fuel tanks, fuselages, access doors and windshields. A range of substrates can be bonded by 3M products including thermoplastic composites, aluminum and titanium. 3M currently supports the aerospace industry by providing products for: structural bonding, void filling, erosion protection, corrosion protection, surface protection, impact protection, temporary protection, and honeycomb reinforcement. To protect an aircraft from the damages of sand and rain 3M has a complete list of Polyurethane coatings. According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, corrosion costs $2.2 billion a year across the aerospace industry. The industrial corrosion protection products 3M provides can make the difference in preventing corrosion related failures. The demand for air travel has forced airplane manufactures to find new ways to make planes more efficient. One solution has been to incorporate lighter composite materials. 15 years ago less than 10% of an aircraft used composites, today more than 50% of the materials used are composites. Although traditional methods like rivets can be used to assemble composite panels the structural adhesives 3M produces make aircraft stronger, safer, and lighter than their predecessors. Lightning strikes to aircrafts are a common encounter and composite materials can’t absorb the energy encountered. But 3M’s specially designed films minimize damages by adding conductivity to the outside of the aircraft, reducing the cost of repairs. ASAP Semiconductor specializes in distributing parts for all your aviation needs, including products manufactured by 3M and all its subsidiaries. Please look through our aviation-specific website Aviation Sourcing Solutions (www.aviationsourcingsolutions.com) to browse our selection or contact us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com for more information or a quote.

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