Main Activity in Nanotechnology
From hybrid composites to microstructures that are visible only through powerful microscopes, the inventive minds at 3M work with a remarkable palette of advanced materials, creating new-to-the-world formulations and proprietary products. Our inventions solve age-old problems and create new opportunities for customers across every market that 3M serves.
In the energy industry, we are a leading manufacturer of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for fuel cells. The 3M MEAs consist of a microstructured, multilayered thin composite that turns hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. 3M is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to advance this important technology, combining more than 20 3M technology platforms. Our MEAs already are widely used in fuel cell systems to provide reliable energy for backup power, and they hold promise in the electronics, automotive and other industries. The next generation of 3M MEAs will contain thin-film catalysts offering longer life, lower cost and a better source of clean power – perhaps for your next car or portable electronic device.
The electrical power industry is turning to our advanced materials technology to help reduce the threat of brownouts and blackouts. A breakthrough 3M development – 3M™ Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced – can provide twice the transmission capacity of conventional conductors. Developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the new conductor currently is in use, or has been selected for use, by six major utilities across the United States and is attracting widespread interest globally.
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