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Body-in-White Solutions for Automotive OEM & Tier

A new era in bonding metals and composites.


By themselves and in conjunction with traditional fastening methods, structural adhesives and tapes from 3M can help boost bond, limit rework, enable design freedom and simplify your processes in automotive body-in-white design and production.

  • Maintain strength and crash resistance consistently across BiW assemblies.
  • Use more lightweight materials without the added worry of galvanic corrosion.
  • Reduce heat-related processing, saving time and decreasing the chance of panel distortion.
  • Incorporate composites into designs without modifying production processes.

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More than just strength: A full range of adhesives for body-in-white.

We help you make it. Better.

You might be surprised at the places 3M structural adhesives can go in automotive body-in-white – and what they can do. Unlike mechanical fastening, using an adhesive allows for placement almost anywhere for design freedom across all common processes in body-and-white.

  • man assembling a body-in-white using 3M solutions at an OEM

    Hem flange bonding

    Developed specifically for aluminum hem-flange applications, structural adhesives and tapes from 3M can improve hem fill and reduce hem welds. 3M provides two-part adhesives compatible with spot induction, so you can reduce the time and energy required for spot welding. They can also cure at room temperature without washout, reducing heat-related panel distortion. Our epoxy film tapes apply cleanly without squeeze-out, allowing for more consistent adhesive thicknesses and precise bondlines. Some adhesives expand during cure in standard e-coat ovens to provide gap filling. 3M adhesives and tapes designed for body-in-white are compatible with various dry film, draw and lube oils.

Explore more uses for adhesives in body-in-white.

Our experts are available to help you model other applications using structural adhesives and tapes throughout the body-in-white process.

3M™ Structural Adhesive Tapes (SATs) allow for structural bonding and isolation of steel, aluminum, carbon or glass reinforced fiber and other composites, ideal for preventing galvanic corrosion without additional e-coat. They are crucial for preventing corrosion after radiator attachment at the Tier. They are also useful for streamlining production of pre-assembled parts at Tiers with processes similar to OEMs.
3M has formulated many of our structural adhesives to help meet stringent automotive manufacturing specifications for the direction of crash energy, helping protect vehicle occupants. In fact, 3M is more often referenced in OEM repair procedures for panel bonding and impact resistant structural adhesives than any other adhesive supplier. Featuring toughened epoxy chemistry, structural adhesives for body-in-white are excellent for door and frame components.

Assembly for body-in-white

Our 3M bonding and joining adhesives for body-in-white feature carefully balanced viscosities for excellent throughput using automated equipment.

  • Liquid Adhesives can be cured at room temperature or by spot induction to suit a wide range of process windows.
  • Excellent Control of curing and processing helps minimize relative motion and stretching.
  • Structural Adhesive Tapes are die-cuttable for pre-assembled parts at the Tier, and heat-cure using existing automotive processes.

Key 3M products for automotive body-in-white

  • Formulated for steel or aluminum hem flange bonding applications, this two-part epoxy adhesive bonds even to aluminum surfaces with dry film coatings and draw lubricants for reduced cleaning times. It is low sag to facilitate automotive panel assemblies and allow you to eliminate ovens and additional fixturing outside of hemming cells. It features good handling strength to support required cycle times. Semi-structural strength can be achieved at room temperature in less than 3 hours, or with induction pre curing within less than a minute.

  • Two-part crash-resistant epoxy adhesive is ideal for bonding carbon fiber reinforced plastics and other composite materials as well as aluminum parts in the primary vehicle body structures. It cures at room or elevated temperature, well below glass transition temperatures of composite resins. It works within broad curing windows and fast cycle times, helping reduce panel distortion.

  • Two-part adhesive is developed for oily galvanized and phosphate steel or aluminum hem flange bonding in body-in-white structures. Controlled reactivity allows for longer work time (approx. 30 minutes) and proper panel lock-up after induction heating for accelerated curing. Bonded substructures can be stored up to one month before final e-coat or paint cycle curing.

  • Single-layer, one-part epoxy adhesive tape is formulated for bonding and isolation of dissimilar metals in body-in-white applications. Temperature-tacked adhesive applies quickly and precisely, and heat-cures to semi-structural strength during standard e-coat processing. The adhesive expands during cure to provide gap filling.

  • Featuring a long work life for repositioning during cure, this two-part toughened adhesive delivers very high peel and shear strength and resists impact and fatigue during demanding conditions. It delivers outstanding environmental performance and bonds to a wide range of materials including metal, glass and many plastics.

  • Two-part adhesive bonds to bare and slightly oily metals such as aluminum, cold rolled steel, copper, brass and bronze, with minimal to no surface preparation.  Fast-curing acrylic adhesive helps eliminate grinding and surface finishing time required with welding, spot welding and mechanical fasteners. It stays strong and resists impact even in cold temperatures.

  • This two-part polyurethane-based structural adhesive is formulated for body-in-white applications which require some flexibility after cure. It is excellent for mixed-material bonding, and can be used to bond composites, metals, glass, and many plastics and rubbers. Fast-curing adhesive stays flexible even in low temperatures.

  • Formulated for high impact strength automotive aluminum alloys as well as mild and high-strength steel, this two-part toughened epoxy is recommended for all weld-bonded and rivet-bonded joints. It provides work times as long as one hour, and it cures rapidly with heat. The adhesive applies in a silver color and changes to purple as it cures.

  • 3M™ Glass Bubbles reduce the density of standard SMCs/BMCs body panels to below 1.0 g/cc enabling weight reductions of as much as 40% and reduce the weight of underbody coating and seam sealer by up to 50% - contributing to lower overall vehicle weight while retaining necessary properties to achieve a Class A surface finish.

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Automotive design and technical expertise on a global scale.

Almost since the first automobiles, 3M has been developing new materials to help our customers create new possibilities. So our world-class design, technical and engineering expertise just comes with the territory. If you have a design in mind, we’ll help you make it happen. If you have a particular bonding and joining challenge for body-in-white, we can help you solve it. Let’s work together on the future of the automobile.


Need Help Finding the Right Solution?

3M is constantly working to meet the evolving challenges of automotive OEM and Tier suppliers worldwide. If you need help finding an existing solution or would like to talk about specific ideas you’re working on, get in touch with us.