Raising hollow glass sphere production in Europe and US

Date: 1 March 2012
Source: 3M Deutschland GmbH/plasteurope.com
Amid rising demand for hollow glass spheres, used – among others – as a filler for plastics applications, 3M (St.

Paul, Minnesota / USA; www.mmm.com) has decided to expand its production at its French site in Cambrai / Tilloy by another 35%. The technology group had just raised the site’s output by 20% last year. The additional capacities are due to come on stream by the end of 2012.

side from its French site, 3M last year also raised output at its plants in Guin, Alabama and Cottage Grove, Minnesota – both located in the US. The company also commissioned a new plant in Ribeirao Preto / Brazil last year. Aside from these new capacities, 3M’s Energy and Advanced Materials Division (EAMD), which is tasked with the fillers, also plans to introduce a new, low-density hollow glass sphere grade with high compressive strength this year. The grade would be earmarked in particular for lightweight plastics applications.

Hollow glass spheres are hollow parts with a calibre of 0.01-0.12 mm. When extruded or injection moulded, they display low viscosity and good flow properties, lending the resulting applications both lighter and more isolating, while maintaining stability. Hollow glass spheres also counteract the shrinkage effect typical for thermoset casting compounds.

600450 Raising hollow glass sphere production in Europe and US glassonweb.com

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