3M To Launch Thinsulate Xerogel Insulation

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3M To Launch Thinsulate Xerogel Insulation

As part of its growing textile insulation portfolio, 3M has announced it will launch a new xerogel technology insulation in the coming months. Comprised of 60% post-consumer recycled material, the new 3M™ Thinsulate™ Xerogel Insulation also showcases 3M’s ongoing commitment to developing sustainable textile solutions. Notable features include its:

  • Warmth under compression
  • Lightweight construction
  • Breathability
  • 60% post-consumer recycled content
  • Ease of application at mills

Being more than 99% air, xerogel is a highly porous structure that can inhibit air circulation, making it an excellent thermal insulator. To apply this innovative material to apparel, 3M’s in-house researchers and engineers have developed a new formulation and composite that takes it a step further.

“Traditionally, when mills tried applying xerogel to textiles, they would run into some issues, including dusting and breakage,” said Mike Mandanas, Laboratory Manager for 3M. “3M science has addressed this and other hurdles.” A key differentiator for 3M™ Thinsulate™ Xerogel Insulation is its ease of application at the mill level due to its low dusting, flexibility, and minimal breakage. 

The development also falls into 3M’s wider sustainability initiatives. Today, the company’s Minnesota-based headquarters is powered by 100% renewable electricity, with an aim of achieving 50% renewable electricity in all global locations by 2025. Earlier this year, 3M announced it is pledging USD1bn over the next 20 years to accelerate environmental goals, including: 

  • Achieving carbon neutrality in operations by 2050, with a 50% reduction by 2030 (against a baseline year of 2019)
  • Reducing water usage by 25% across all facilities by 2030 (versus 2019)
  • Reducing dependence on virgin fossil-based plastics by 125 million pounds by 2025.

In 1979, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation launched as a thin, lightweight synthetic alternative to down. Since then, 3M’s portfolio of insulation has evolved, now with an emphasis on sustainability. Designed with 60% post-consumer recycled material, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Xerogel Insulation stands besides other ethically minded products such as 3M™ Thinsulate™ 100% Recycled Featherless Insulation.

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