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Hollow Glass Microsphere
ITM11582, ITM11583, ITM11625, ITM11627, ITM11643, ITM11705, ITM11706, ITM11708, ITM11710, ITM11711, ITM11718, ITM17606, ITM19298, ITM19340, ITM19637, ITM19945

3M™ Glass Bubbles iM16K will change the way you think about plastic parts. This product has a density of 0.46 g/cc and an excellent isostatic crush strength of 16,000 psi, providing an additive with a superior strength-to-density ratio for use in injection molding extrusion and sheet molding compounds. They can reduce final part weight by 15% or more without compromising the mechanical integrity.


  • Reduce final part weight by 15% or more without compromising mechanical integrity of finished product
  • Extremely high strength-to-density ratio glass bubble survives high shear, high pressure processes like injection molding and extrusion
  • Faster cooling times of melt processed polymers (injection molding and extrusion), typically 15-25% cycle time improvement
  • Improved dimensional stability and reduced warpage and sink marks


Don't Wait, Reduce Part Weight 

From start to finish, 3M™ Glass Bubbles iM16K are about helping reduce weight while improving the production process and the quality of finished parts. Toward that end, weight reduction of 15% or more can be achieved in injection molded parts. Additionally, SMC manufacturers have created molded parts in the automotive industry with weight reductions up to 40% — a dramatic reduction that has revolutionized lightweighting in that industry. These substantial weight reductions don't come at the expense of quality. In fact, parts maintain strength, surface aesthetics and mechanical integrity with the use of 3M glass bubbles iM

Improving Throughput 

Reduce cycle time by 15-25% or more without compromising critical mechanical properties of finished parts. The secret? Faster cooling. Typically, cooling takes up most of a mold cycle. By using glass bubbles to reduce thermal mass, parts cool faster from the melt and cycle times can be considerably shortened. Fillers like talc and calcium carbonate may cost less but can actually increase part weight. A reduction in part temperature of approximately 1.1°C per each weight % of 3M glass bubbles iM16K added to the formulation can be realized. Cycle time improvements allow customers to make more parts per minute, per hour, per day and per year. 

Do More for Sustainability

Importantly, our 3M glass bubbles iM16K contribute to environmental sustainability. With a high strength-to-weight ratio, glass bubbles are ideal for lightweighting materials like plastics and composites. According to a single-site carbon footprint study conducted by 3M on one class of glass bubble popular for use in plastic manufacturing, the addition of 3M™ Glass Bubbles to injection molded parts had a neutral impact on the carbon footprint of the finished part. Additionally, lightweighting has known advantages such as improved fuel economy, easier handling of hand-held plastic parts and reduced shipping costs.